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Sunlight Foundation: Koch Groups Pony Up for TV Time

TV stations are benefitting from a host of political buys from groups associated with the billionaire Koch brothers (Charles and David).

According to a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the FCC's online database of political ad buys, the pair have bought ad time on "at least" 106 TV stations through July 10 as the all important mid-term election nears. "At least," the group points out, because the FCC's new political ad reporting requirement for all stations did not kick in until July 1. Before that, only the top four network affiliated TV stations in the top 50 markets had to report.

The buys are coming primarily in states with hotly competitive elections—North Carolina, Colorado and Kansas.

Sunlight also reports that Freedom Partners, one of the groups, has spent about $1.2 million on one station in New Hampshire alone, which is host to close House and Senate races.

The groups are investing in cable, too. According to a filing from earlier this month on Time Warner Cable's political ad tracker, Americans for Progress, which bought the Kansas airtime, according to Sunlight, just bought several thousand dollars’ worth of ad time in North Carolina and has made a series of buys since the beginning of the year in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

The FCC does not require cable operators to make their ad buys public, though some—prominently TWC—do so on their own initiative.