Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., does a live TV hit from the Cannon House Office Buildings in 2013. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Think the television ad wars are raging between Democrats and Republicans this fall? Check out the battle behind the scenes between cable and broadcast stations for campaign ad dollars.
For the past three decades, television audiences splintered as cable and alternative viewing habits (Netflix, iPads), broke up the hold the big three channels — ABC, CBS and NBC — once had on the American television-viewing public.
In politics, the difference is simple: Cable offers campaigns armed with micro-targeting data a chance to narrowcast, while broadcast still provides the largest audiences. Today, most political campaigns spend approximately 80 percent of their ad money on television and 20 percent on cable, according to multiple sources. Full story