Chicago Cubs’ owners buy $1.4M in anti-Udall TV ads

Photo: The Ricketts familyA super PAC operated by the family that owns the Chicago Cubs last week bought $1.4 million in TV ads to oppose Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and support Republican Rep. Cory Gardner.

Ending Spending Action Fund is funded and operated by the Ricketts family of Omaha, as NPR has reported.

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It’s just the latest outside group duking it out on TV in one of the hottest U.S. Senate races in the country.

That race is a primary reason Coloradans have been subject to nearly $97 million in ads contracted through Oct. 17, which would consume 39 straight days of back-to-back viewing.

That’s based on an analysis of TV station ad contracts filed with the Federal Communication Commission. It doesn’t include satellite or cable advertising, because that isn’t required to be reported to the FCC.

Other big buyers last week included the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Republican National Senatorial Committee, which each bought almost $800,000 in additional ads.

Udall added almost $389,000, while Gardner added $240,000.

And Making Colorado Great added almost $1.2 million in ads attacking GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez in his attempt to unseat Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper. Making Colorado Great is funded by the Democratic Governor’s Association, unions and others.

Making Colorado Great now has contracted nearly $6 million in advertising, compared with about $3.3 million for the Republican Governor’s Association.

Here’s a look at the ad market by advertiser so far:

Focus on Latino votes

Some $2.4 million in ads are aimed at Spanish-speaking voters, with the bulk of those ads from Democratic candidates and groups.

Last week, liberal nonprofit People for the American Way entered the fray, paying almost $236,000 for 315 Spanish-langauge spots. The Colorado Democratic Party also bought ads aimed at Latino voters, as did Making Colorado Great.

Here’s a look at buyers on Spanish-language channels:

How long can this go on?

With only two weeks left until Election Day on Nov. 4, TV viewers may be asking that question.

Here’s the answer: nearly 17,500 ads (that’s 145 hours) at a cost of almost $21 million have yet to run, at least for contracts that started last Friday.

So you’ll be hearing plenty more from Udall, Gardner, Hickenlooper, Beauprez and their detractors.

Here’s a look: