SBD/Issue 36/Law & Politics

Republicans Using Sports Programming To Reach Potential Voters

Political spending on TV advertising is "set to hit $3 billion for this year's Congressional elections," and Republican ad buyers "favor sports programming," according to Ashley Parker of the N.Y. TIMES. Republicans have "bought nearly three times as many ads as Democrats on 'Saturday Night College Football,' more than twice as many on 'Sunday Night NFL Football' and NASCAR racing," and almost twice as many during MLB games. Nielsen Co. data indicated that the sports shows most favored by Republican buyers "have an audience that is nearly two-thirds or higher male." Midwest Media Research Foundation Research Dir Ken Goldstein said, "College sports is probably the cleanest buy for Republicans, or the buy where they’re getting the biggest advantage. Republicans think their base is more likely to be watching sports, and if they’re looking for younger males, or younger white males, it’s college football." Parker noted Democrats "tended to focus on talk shows." National Media Inc. Senior VP Will Feltus, whose company is a media buyer for Republicans, said, "Republicans are trying to reach Republican men and Republican-leaning men with sports. Democrats are advertising more to women." Below is a chart showing sports shows that skew toward Republican ads (N.Y. TIMES, 10/31). 

SPORTS SHOWS THAT SKEW TOWARD REPUBLICAN ADS
SHOW
POLITICAL ADS
% DEM.
% REP.
FEMALE VIEWERS
Saturday Night College Football
214
26%
74%
32%
NBC "Sunday Night Football"
506
31%
69%
31%
NFL Sunday Kickoff
75
31%
69%
34%
NASCAR racing
163
31%
69%
36%
MLB
155
34%
66%
34%
AFC Football Post Gun
93
37%
63%
n/a
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