For Cable News, Trump Plus Clinton Equals Windfall

By Mark Joyella 

It began with a Fox News Channel debate that set a record, not just for cable news, but cable television. Now, with the presidential campaign down to Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, cable news networks are anticipating a profitable run through the conventions, into the fall, and on to November.

Cable news execs anticipate that the conventions, which kick off in Cleveland on July 18, will be unusually big draws in terms of ratings. According to a report by Bloomberg:

CNN is charging advertisers $40,000 to $100,000 for a 30-second spot during the Republican and Democratic conventions, compared with about $5,000 for a normal prime-time commercial, according to a person familiar with the matter. Fox News plans to charge similar rates, according to Ken Goldstein, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco who analyzes polling and advertising for Bloomberg Politics. The cable networks declined to confirm the numbers.

The head-to-head debates between Clinton and Trump may set all-time high viewing records. “That first debate, outside the Super Bowl, may be highest-watched show we’ve seen in years,” Jay Wallace, Fox News executive vice president of news and editorial, told Bloomberg.