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Georgia Senate Runoff Advertising Benefits Fox News and ESPN  –

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One of the most important dates on this year’s political calendar could be November 26.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving will bring with it a 128-year-old rivalry, a football game between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (or, as the rivalry is known locally, “Wipe The Hate Out”). outdated”). .

The soccer game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN, and viewers outside of Georgia can get a taste of what residents of the state have been watching on their televisions in recent months.

On December 6, just a week and a half after the game, Georgia will host a runoff election for a US Senate seat, with incumbent Raphael Warnock and challenger Herschel Walker (who played for the Georgia Bulldogs from 1980 to 1982) facing each other.

An ESPN source says that “there is significant interest from both candidates in the Georgia runoff election, as well as [from] the PACs,” in the soccer rivalry game, as well as other upcoming ESPN games (like Georgia Tech in the Iowa basketball game on Nov. 29).

In fact, viewers of any college sporting event featuring a team from Georgia (or neighboring states) are sure to have seen ads for Warnock, Walker, or the various Super PACs funneling cash into the race.

According to Medium Buying, which tracks political ad spending and rates, 30-second ads during the SEC championship game between Georgia and LSU on December 3 on the Atlanta CBS affiliate (owned by Gray TV) have a cost of $130,000; 30-second spots on Fox’s Atlanta station for Monday’s game between the United States and Wales in the World Cup cost $35,000. And those are the candidate discount rates, with PACs facing a much steeper market rate.

Medium Buying notes that, as of November 17, more than $31 million in TV ads had been booked, and that number is expected to accelerate in the coming days as campaign war chests and PACs are replenished. they focus on where they want to funnel money.

The Senate runoff is shaping up to be yet another bonanza for the TV business, and it comes amid a tough economic environment, with non-political ads beginning to unravel.

That means any TV company with exposure to the state of Georgia could benefit, though there are a number of reasons advertising won’t be as lucrative this year as it was for a similar runoff in January 2021.

For starters, the January 2021 special election was for two Senate seats (ultimately won by Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff) and control of the US Senate. This time, only one seat is up for grabs, and the Democrats have already secured control of the Senate (although a 51st Senator would make their lives much easier).

Additionally, the state of Georgia changed its election rules after the 2021 runoffs, shortening the window for the special election to 4 weeks, instead of 2 months in 2020 and 2021.

According to AdImpact, more than $500 million was spent for the 2020 runoffs.

While it’s not yet clear how much will be spent this time around, one political ad watcher predicts that it will be closer to $150 million to $200 million this time around.

Why?

The shorter window (meaning less time for campaigns to raise money) and single election should mean less spending, though as one source in the political ad world pointed out: Super PACs could change the equation, with their big cash reserves, and willingness to pay market rates.

But that narrower window also means less time for deals to be made or for networks to move inventory.

As a result, ESPN’s rivalry game won’t have as many political ads as you might expect. “Our live sports inventory is very tight, so we are limited in terms of what we can accommodate,” adds the ESPN source.

Other beneficiaries of the ad bonanza will look a lot like 2020: Fox Corp., which owns an Atlanta station and Fox News, should see a steady stream of advertising (especially with the NFL, college football, and World Cup). World). ). Nexstar, TEGNA, and Gray Television own multiple stations in the state, as well as stations in neighboring states such as Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama, some of which overlap with Georgia counties.

It’s all shaping up to be an early Christmas present for the companies involved, and perhaps a temporary respite from the hype cold that grips the rest of the media landscape.



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