Citizens United Was a Win for Local TV Stations’ Budgets

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Much has been argued about the Citizen’s United opinion. There are scholars that argue for and against it.

But according to a recent story posted on Slate, there is at least one piece of the American demographic pie that absolutely benefited from it: Local TV stations.

Or, to be more specific: Local TV stations’ bottom lines.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece, written by :

Citizens United opened the floodgates for unprecedented amounts of political advertising, and nobody has surfed that wave more than local TV station operators. For local broadcast channels and their it-bleeds-it-leads newscasts, the Supreme Court might as well be that mythic relative who leaves you an unexpected fortune in his will. The cascade of political money to your local channel began for real in 2012. That year, according to the Pew Research Center, local television stations received $3.1 billion in political advertising revenue. That was 48 percent more than was spent just two years earlier (before Citizens United) and represented more than double the amount raked in during the previous presidential election in 2008.

The columnist then refers to a report issued this spring by Pew, in which the state of the media was discussed at length.

The pull quote from that report as it relates to television stations and Citizens United, however, was this:

In 2014 total on-air ad revenue for local stations reached $20 billion, according to consulting firm BIA/Kelsey, up 7 percent from the year before.

Want to read the entire Slate report? It may be viewed here.

Want to read more about the Pew report? Click here.

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