And that means money. According to data from media and communications data firm SNL Kagan, a division of SMP Global Market Intelligence, the three major cable news networks are set to make nearly $2 billion in ad revenues, and the three main business networks are set to add another $458 million in ad revenue from just the 2016 calendar year.
“We’ve been outselling our election packages for a year now,” said Katrina Cukaj, EVP of Portfolio Sales & Client Partnerships for Turner Ad Sales, which includes CNN. “We are close to selling out for the rest of the [election related] days; there is very high demand. Very high.”
Fox News is expecting a “multimillion dollar revenue night” when all the money is counted. According to the Wall Street Journal, CNN is selling debate and election night ad packages with minimums of $800,000 to $1 million, with 30 second ads for the presidential debates going for more than $55,000. Other cable news channels are selling similar bundled ad packages. And those kinds of numbers take into account that there are no ad interruptions during the debate – all those ads are sold against pre- and post-game analysis and panels.