WSB-TV rakes in the most political ad money of any TV station in the nation in 2022

WSB-TV has received more political ad dollars this year than any other TV station in the United States, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.

The Atlanta ABC affiliate, which is the highest rated broadcast TV station in town, has pocketed more than $86 million in political ad dollars so far this year, according to data from the ad tracker AdImpact. Georgia is a battleground state and the Senate race between U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker has been especially heated.

With the two in a runoff, the ads have continued to inundate the airwaves for the past month. WSB-TV in September added a temporary 3 p.m. newscast and for a brief time even added 10 extra minutes to its 11 p.m. newscast to fit in more of these ads.

Fox 5 (WAGA-TV) comes in fourth place nationwide with political ad buys, behind WSB-TV and two stations in Las Vegas.

Ad rates are up 30% to 40% this year as political advertisers have tightened inventory for regular advertisers, said Vince Thompson, who runs MELT Atlanta, an ad agency with clients such as Wellstar and AFLAC.

“It’s been a massive windfall for the TV stations,” he said. But he said rates should go back to something closer to normal in 2023 and based on the healthy planned ad buying budgets of his clients, there appears to be waning concern about a recession.

AdImpact data also showed that WSB-TV, going back to Jan. 1, 2020, through Nov. 28, 2022, drew $232 million in political advertising, the most for any TV station during that time period.

WSB-TV did not respond to a request for comment.

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