Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 8:45am
TV, RADIO LOOK FOR RECORD AD MONEY IN ELECTION
[SOURCE: Reuters, AUTHOR: Jeremy Pelofsky and Megan Davies]
The presidential election is 14 months away and with as many as 17 candidates now running, U.S. television and radio broadcasters are elated at the prospect of billions more in advertising dollars. Many states have set their 2008 nominating contests for earlier than ever, forcing candidates to spend millions on ads sooner as they fight to get noticed. Wall Street analysts predict television stations alone could bring in a record $2 billion to $3 billion from the 2008 election cycle, up from $1.6 billion in 2006 and $900 million in 2004. Companies expected to benefit include CBS Corp., Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. and Meredith Corp., with the latter two particularly seen benefiting in the early voting states. The presidential sweepstakes could have an additional bonanza, reinvigorating broadcast mergers and acquisitions, though the number of deals will likely depend on financing, which has dried up amid turmoil in the credit markets.
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