Political advertising contracts in Colorado neared $103 million last Friday, and the spending will be evident in Sunday’s Denver Broncos game versus the New England Patriots.
Ending Spending Action is paying $260,000 to run two 30-second spots during the game. One of them will run as the first ad during the first break in the game, according to a contract with KCNC Channel 4, which airs the game. The ads will oppose Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall and support Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner.
Ending Spending Action is a super PAC funded mainly by the Ricketts family of Omaha, which owns the Chicago Cubs and whose patriarch founded Ameritrade. The group more than doubled previous ad buys last week, bringing its total spending to more than $3 million in the closing two weeks of the campaign.
But Ending Spending won’t be the only political advertiser during Sunday’s big game with most of the ads targeting the U.S. Senate race.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is spending $125,000 for a 30-second spot on KCNC during the game. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Senate Majority PAC each purchased spots for $65,000 by booking earlier.
Gardner is spending $4,200 for an ad during the game on Colorado Springs KKTV Channel 11. The National Rifle Association is spending $16,000 on Grand Junction’s KREX Channel 5.
And Making Colorado Great is spending $85,000 on KCNC. That group opposes Republican Bob Beauprez and supports Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Here’s a look at contracts by advertiser through Oct. 24:
This week’s highlights
The nearly $103 million in ads would take up 41 days of viewing if aired back-to-back.
The numbers are based on contracts filed by Colorado – and even some New Mexico – television stations with the Federal Communications Commission. They don’t include ads on cable or satellite TV programs because those aren’t required to file with the FCC.
One statewide candidate who’s avoided traditional TV stations in Colorado is Democrat Don Quick who faces Republican Cynthia Coffman in the open race for state attorney general.
Michael Dabbs with the Quick campaign said they are running $175,000 worth of ads on cable and satellite channels in Denver and Colorado Springs.
Coffman has spent about $31,000 on traditional TV advertising. But the Republican Attorneys General Association has spent more than $2 million in ads attacking Quick. The Committee for Justice and Fairness, a Democratic group, originally contracted for ad time in the race, but transferred the time to groups supporting Udall in the U.S. Senate race.
The Senate race continues to be the focus of additional ad buys:
Gardner added nearly $554,000 in ads last week.
Udall added more than $452,000 in ads.
Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, added nearly $485,000.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee added more than $106,000.
B-PAC, a new entrant to Colorado to advertising against Udall, contracted about $186,000 worth of ads.
Republicans are in the lead in terms of spending on ad contracts, while Democrats lead in the number of spots:
Some other expensive shows
The Broncos may be the big buy, but there are other shows that aren’t cheap.
Some examples for the week ahead:
The Senate Majority PAC is spending $20,000 for a 30-second spot Monday (Oct. 27) on the ABC crime drama Castle on Colorado Springs KRDO Channel 13.
Crossroads GPS is paying $50,000 for a 30-second spot on Navy NCIS on KCNC on Tuesday.
GOP Rep. Mike Coffman is spending $8,550 for a spot on NBC’s Blacklist on KUSA Channel 9 on Nov. 3. His Democratic opponent, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, tends to buy less expensive spots and more of them.
Making Colorado Great spent $9,000 last Wednesday for a spot on the country-music drama Nashville on KMGH Channel 7.
A spot on KDVR Channel 31’s Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy this week costs Udall $3,200.