Political ad spending in Colorado spikes after Channel 7 files overdue reports

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Photo: NRA Gardner adPolitical TV ads in Colorado neared $74 million and topped 31 solid hours of viewing as of Friday, Sept. 19.

That doesn’t include cable or satellite TV ads or radio ads, just traditional TV stations that must file contracts with the Federal Communications Commission.

One reason for the huge adjustment from the week before is the volume of filings by KMGH Channel 7. I sent the station’s ad manager an email last week asking about the absence of contracts for a number of candidates and campaigns. The next day, the station began filing contracts, many from August and at least one from July.

That includes the largest single contract to date: $935,405 for 934 ads opposing an initiative to allow casino gambling at racetracks. KMGH did not respond as to why the station hadn't been filing contracts all along.

Democratic candidates and groups continue to lead in overall spending. Here are the big numbers:

Notable ad buys last week:

  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bought an additional $1.2 million in ads to attack GOP U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman and support Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff. That doesn’t include additional ads at KMGH. That brings the group’s total to almost $2.6 million, compared with about $2.8 million in ads scheduled by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

  • Making Colorado Great, supported by the Democratic Governor’s Association, unions and others, bought almost $1.2 million in additional ads to attack GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. That group has $3.5 million worth of ad contracts, though the Republican Governor’s Association expects to spend at least $5 million opposing Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

  • The National Rifle Association spent at least $1.1 million in ads, virtually all in Grand Junction and Colorado Springs. Filings with Denver TV stations said the political action committee is airing ads on football games arranged through Raycom Sports.

Here’s a look at ads by advertiser: