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Industry Focus: Midterm Elections & Local Revenue

All of the reports and research following election years all state the obvious; political spending means big bucks for local television. A TVB study following the 2012 presidential elections found that more than 80% of total television spending in the political category was spent on local television. The midterm political races this year will bring a modest upswing in revenue but only 35 of the 50 states have races and few of those will be “money makers”.

Even in states with hotly contested races, stations cannot count on political dollars to generate all of their needed revenue. If you are lucky enough to be in one of the states with a hotly contested race, how do you keep the political ads from engulfing your entire ad inventory? And if you are in a state with unexciting race or no election at all, how can you still generate revenue in 2014?

New Inventory – New Advertisers

One way local stations can increase inventory and generate new revenue is through sponsorships. The main station benefit is that sponsorships open up additional advertising inventory that can be sold to new advertisers. In-content sponsorship appeals to advertisers because their logo and company name is associated with coveted locations in the newscast. Sponsors become tied to a certain segment and avoid the fast forwarding/skipping that can occur during a standard :15 or :30 sec spots.

Traffic and weather segments, two of the highest watched segments in local broadcast, provide a strong opportunity for local sponsorships. The reputation of forecast and traffic conditions are not affected by the advertising/sponsor relationship. One way many stations generate sponsor revenue is by implementing a weather camera network and integrating sponsorships into the new weather content.

Online – Video Viewing/Second Screen

Second screen viewing and online news consumption will continue to rise. On-demand, online and video and streaming video offers a more immediate, personalized and customized experience. The second screen creates a new revenue opportunities for stations and a captive audience for advertisers. Each day more and more people watch streaming video on their tablets and Smartphones. A station can increase revenue through additional advertising and interactive sponsorships on mobile devices.

Each community is different and presents unique challenges and opportunities for revenue generation. Only you can determine if all or any of these tactics makes sense for your station. Weather Metrics understands these challenges and can offer help with the Sponsorship Assistance Program. From network size to choosing locations and pitching sponsors, Weather Metrics will work one-on-one with you to determine what makes the most sense for your station.

With new inventory possible in sponsorships and the potential advertising dollars up for grabs in online and second screen advertising, taking the time to explore these options could prove to be highly lucrative.