Alaska Television Station Aired More Than 16,000 Political Ads In 2014

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A television station in Alaska has the distinction of having aired an amazing number of ads this election season:

KTUU, the NBC affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska, wins the award for most Senate ads aired in the 2014 election cycle.

The station played 13,200 Senate ads in 2014 through Oct. 27, according to data analysis from the Center for Public Integrity of Kantar Media/CMAG data. When factoring in House advertisements, KTUU played 16,406 political spots this year.

One reason for the high number could be the highly contested Senate race between Republican Dan Sullivan and Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich. Sullivan currently holds a lead in the race, which has not been called as of Thursday morning.

“The ad load reflects a perfect storm of sorts on major races and issues on the ballot in Alaska,” KTUU President and General Manager Andrew MacLeod told to Broadcasting & Cable, “Coupled with the station’s unparalleled audience strength as Alaska’s news leader.”

The other factor, no doubt, is that ad costs are far lower in Alaska than they are in most other media markets in the United States. That being said, with preliminary data showing a total of 225,306 votes cast in the Senate race this year, that comes out to about 14 airings of individual ads per voter. Basing it on the population of Alaska, which stands at an estimated 735,231 people as of 2013, that’s 45 airings per person.

That’s a lot of television time.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.