CNN expects influx of mid-term political ad dollars
Time Warner’s CNN is expecting an influx of ad dollars around its coverage of the mid-term elections; a political story that just got a whole lot juicier thanks to the special election of Republican Scott Brown to the Massachusetts Senate seat once held by Edward Kennedy.The mid-terms just got more lucrative too thanks to the Supreme Court’s latest ruling on political advertising which paves the way for corporations to spend more freely in support of political issues and candidates.
Sprint has already signed on to sponsor CNN’s multiplatform coverage which the network is essentially selling as event television, albeit an event that runs from January through to November.
Greg D’Alba, chief operating officer of CNN Ad Sales, said: “What happened in Massachusetts is very interesting. It will prove this is going to be one hell of a political trail. Governors’ races, Senate races, they’ll be hotly contested and that shift in the government’s balance of power is a hell of a story in the making.”
But do advertisers want their messages to sit between partisan material, rather than fuzzy entertainment coverage? It would seem so. “Everybody does because it’s highly rated and highly engaging. This is Americana at its best. It provides a really strong environment for creative,” added D’Alba.
While CNN’s 2009 ratings made for tough comparisons with the previous year’s highly viewed presidential election coverage in 2008, CNN is prepping its “best political team on television” mantra for mid-term drama. CNN reports high interest from marketers in the energy, transport and telecoms sectors. The network has already signed Sprint and another major advertiser it won’t name yet, to sponsor its coverage of the races.
As for first quarter ad activity at large, D’Alba describes it as “consistent and steady.” CNN’s ad revenue picture is something that Wall Street analysts will be watching closely when Time Warner reports its earnings on Wednesday, February 3.