Written by Josh Fried and Wali Sakhi

Broadcast TV saw $4.2B in 2022, contributing 55% of all political advertising spending last year. During New Hampshire’s 2022 Senate general election, the Boston Designated Market Area (DMA) saw the most broadcast spending ($40M) of all markets. The Boston DMA covers parts of New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. During the general, incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan spent $7M on broadcast while GOP Challenger Don Bolduc spent $1M. Republican groups spent $15M on broadcast while Democratic groups spent $14M. WMUR, a broadcast station licensed to Manchester, NH, which falls in the Boston DMA, saw the most spending of all broadcast stations for the election at $10M, making up 25% of total broadcast spending. WMUR accounted for 40% of total broadcast spending for all 2020 NH races and 32% of total broadcast spending in all 2022 races.  

A bar chart of spending by advertiser type in the NH Senate

Bolduc did not start spending in the general election on WMUR until just over a month before election day. By the time Bolduc started spending, Hassan had already spent $294K on the station while Republican group Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) and Democratic group Senate Majority PAC (SMP) had already spent $1.2M and $260K, respectively. 

A line chart showing broadcast spend on WMUR

Dayparts are the divided segments of the day that TV stations use to schedule their programs and sell their inventory. The two most viewed Dayparts are Early Morning (EM) between 5am and 9am and Primetime (PT) which lasts between 7pm and 12am. Candidates are given the lowest unit rate for TV advertisements, meaning that candidates can communicate their message at a lower cost than groups.

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  Between October and election day on WMUR, candidates paid an average rate of $616 per spot for the EM Daypart and $2,092 for PT Daypart (7pm-12pm) on WMUR. Meanwhile, Issue groups paid an average rate of $2,929 per spot for EM and $7,330 for PT on the station. 

A bar chart of advertise contracts on WMUR

From October to election day, Bolduc and Hassan each placed more airings than either SLF or SMP on WMUR. Bolduc placed 841 airings while Hassan placed 1,245 airings. SLF placed 786 airings and SMP placed 580 airings on the station. The WMUR advertiser activity highlights the individual unit price between candidates and groups in relation to the number of airings ordered in the NH Senate 2022 general. SLF and SMP paid a combined $3.6M for 1,366 airings while the candidates paid $1M for 2,086 airings total, meaning that groups paid more than three times as much as candidates paid per airing. On WMUR, these four advertisers ran 3,452 total broadcast airings. 

As the nation turns its attention to the NH 2024 Presidential primary, WMUR continues to see the most broadcast spending activity of the election. As of 09/18/2023, WMUR has already seen $19M in total spending and reservations towards the election. During the entire 2020 NH Presidential primary, WMUR saw a total of $10M. WMUR currently accounts for almost 75% of all NH 2024 Presidential primary broadcast spending and reservations. With the NH Presidential 2024 primary less than 6 months away, WMUR is sure to see continued Presidential activity.   

For a break down on political ad spending on the Presidential primary so far, read our pre-first GOP Debate Presidential Primary spending blog here.

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