TV Station Political Revenue Poised for Dramatic Increase

TV station political revenues could potentially grow 25 percent above 2006 levels to about $2.5 billion, according to a new SNL Kagan study released Wednesday (Sept. 22). Radio will also enjoy some added cash, about $560 million.

Political spending for the publicly traded pure play TV groups will exceed $300 million. In the 16 states with highly contested elections, Sinclair Broadcast Group has the largest footprint. Sinclair has 24 stations in toss-up states, while Gray TV has 14, Nexstar Broadcasting Group 11, LIN TV 10 and Belo 6.

Network owned-and-operated groups can also expect big windfalls, with CBS and Univision having a footprint most exposed to the tightest races.

Among the radio groups, Cumulus Media has the largest footprint in toss-up state. CBS Radio is also expected to draw heavily from political budgets with 64 percent of its footprint or 50 stations in the hot political states of California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.