Obama Steps In To Save Big Media, Buys 30-Minute Commercials

We don’t know why Barack Obama didn’t announce this at the last debate: Turns out he’s got a stimulus package aimed directly at the the country’s big media companies. And the best part is that Les Moonves, Jeff Zucker and their pals don’t even have to wait for anyone to approve the move: Barack is sending them cash immediately. Variety:

Barack Obama’s campaign has bought 30 minutes of primetime on both CBS and NBC to air a special program. Date and timeslot is the same for both buys – 8:00 p.m. ET on Oct. 29.

…While not unprecedented, the move is unusual in that presidential campaigns tend to aim TV spending at local broadcast outlets in specific battleground states. However, with so many states in play this election, a network buy could be more efficient and economical…

…Per federal equal time rules, CBS and NBC would have to offer similar rates to the McCain campaign if it sought to buy the same amount of air in primetime.

A source said the Obama campaign was also talking to Fox for a similar buy, but potential conflict with the World Series broadcast is hampering negotiations.

Here’s what we don’t know, and haven’t been able to find in any of the coverage so far: How much does 30 minutes of primetime cost? Any help much appreciated: Sound off below, via our tip jar, or ping me directly pkafka AT alleyinsider DOT com.

UPDATE: Thanks to our readers, particularly Bill Gorman at TVbythenumbers.com. Seems like a reasonable guesstimate would be something in the $1.5 million range per network, per half-hour.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.