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BIA Raises Local Election Spending Outlook to $7.1B

BIA Advisory Services raised its local political advertising spending forecast to $7.1 billion, up from its $6.6 billion prediction made last fall.

“Our updated forecast reflects the increased spending in the various Presidential primary states. Yet, it is important to remember that a large majority of the total political spending is targeted to the strongly contested gubernatorial, senatorial races, and other local races,” said Mark Fratrik, BIA Advisory Service senior VP and chief economist.

“This year we can anticipate that candidates will take their messages local by advertising terrestrially and digitally to voters across the country. The four-year-cycle of increased political year advertising will benefit all segments of the entire local advertising market,” Fratrik said.

The new forecast was not affected by billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s withdrawal as a presidential candidate following his performance in the Super Tuesday primaries.

BIA now forecasts that over-the-air TV will get $3.3 billion in political ad spending, up $171 million from the earlier estimate.

Several station groups, including Sinclair and Tegna have been forecasting record levels of political ad spending this year.

BIA also raised its forecast for election spending on digital media by $197 million.