Senate TV Ad Spending Tops $400 Million

As of late Friday (Oct. 31), $410 million had been spent on TV ads for Senate races in the 2014 election cycle, according to Center for Public Integrity analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data.

That means that almost $90 million has been spent on TV ad time in the Senate races in the past two and a half weeks (as of Oct. 13, the total was $321.4 million)

North Carolina, one of the close races that could help swing the Senate to the Republicans, continued to lead in the state-by-state race, with $62.1 million spent (vs. 46.6 million as of Oct. 13), the majority ($37 million) spent by outside groups vs. only $14.1 million spent by the candidates themselves.

Georgia was second at $42.5 million, but with only $14 million spent by outside groups and $22.2 million by candidates.

That total includes local broadcast TV, national network and national cable (no local cable, online or radio). It also includes ads that mention a candidate but do not overtly call for his or her election or defeat. The figures only include ads that have run, not future ad buys.

Rounding out the top five are Colorado in third at $40.3 million ($30 million Oct. 13), Kentucky in fourth at $33.6 million (up from $27.9 million and fifth place), and Michigan at $31.5 million (up from $28.9 million, but a drop to fifth place from fourth).

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.