The 401st Blow :: Thoughts On Media

TV’s Financial Salvation: Freedom Of The Press?

Posted in Policy, Television by Noah Harlan on January 26, 2010

Last week, in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States may have just saved the TV industry – at least for a few more election cycles.

The case was Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and concerned a documentary that Citizens United produced and aired that was against Hillary Clinton. A provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law said that corporations could not air political political ads within a given period of an upcoming election. It is likely that this ruling would also overturn a similar prohibition on Union-financed political ads as well.

This is a win for free speech.

This is probably a loss for the clarity of election campaigns.

This is an enormous win for TV networks. This probably keeps many of them in business for a long time to come.  Why? Follow the money…

Even before this ruling, analysts were predicting that 2010 would become a near record-setting year for ad spending at close to $3.3 billion, and over $2.2 billion of that going to TV. But with the floodgates removed from corporations, that number could surge massively. The gloomy forecast for TV ad revenues just got a tiny bit brighter.

That being said, it might just send more people to their DVRs because the only thing worse than car ads are political ads.

My name is Noah Harlan, and I endorse this message.

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One Response

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  1. uberVU - social comments said, on January 26, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by noahharlan: Did the Supreme Court just save TV? http://is.gd/73sDs


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