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Obama to Pay Big for Prime Buy

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Barack Obama will pay CBS almost $1 million for its half-hour ad buy in prime time Wednesday, Oct. 29.

According to papers available at CBS's headquarters in New York, the campaign agreed Monday to pay $961,000 for the entire 8-8:30 pm time period. It wasn't clear whether that was in pattern, meaning it would run across all time zones at that period.
It will also run on NBC and perhaps other networks.

The campaign's ad buyer GMMB of Washington, D.C., first approached CBS as well as NBC, ABC and Fox for half-hour time buys on Thursday, Oct. 30, Sunday, Nov. 2 and Monday, Nov. 3 -- the latter just one day before the election. But Sunday's "roadblock" of ads had been deemed unworkable due to NFL football.

It would have been more costly, with CBS quoting the campaign a lowest unit cost of $1.5 million for 8-8:30 pm and $1.8 million for 8:30-9 pm. On Sept. 25, a CBS internal communication suggested that the campaign wasn't interested "as of now" in the Thursday spot.

The Obama campaign declined to provide other details other than to say that it had bought time on CBS and was negotiating with other networks.

There was no comment from the McCain campaign. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news regarding the ad buy on Thursday.