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Report: ESPN to air more political ads during college football programming

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And you thought the postseason was the most political thing about college football.

From the Wall Street Journal, ESPN is reportedly going to sell more air time this fall to political parties in the height of the election season.

ESPN has come up with a way to sell a bigger portion of its ad time to political campaigns. The sports network has struck a deal with a middleman that will result in more political ads appearing on ESPN programs, including NFL and college football games, in October and November—the critical period before the general election.

There is “great demand” for ad time from “political parties and the super-PACs,” said Ed Erhardt, ESPN’s president of global customer marketing and sales.

It shouldn’t come across as a surprising move at all, given the perfect storm that is election season combined with popular sports combined with money combined withOMGIT’SCOMINGTOYOURCITAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY. 

So, yeah, be prepared for more attacks on healthcare policy, shaking hands with construction workers and barn coats this fall. Lots and lots of barn coats.

You know, because politicians are just Average Joes like us.

(Hat tip: Holly Anderson, Sports Illustrated) 

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38 Responses to “Report: ESPN to air more political ads during college football programming”
  1. woebegong says: Jul 11, 2012 4:36 PM

    Given the state of politics these days, it can’t be any worse than some of the announcers they have doing sports anyway.

  2. polegojim says: Jul 11, 2012 4:52 PM

    Ouch – many are painfully eternal to boot.

  3. atxcane says: Jul 11, 2012 4:53 PM

    Ugh. I watch sports to get away from obnoxious pols. And here I thought Mark May was going to be the biggest idiot I had to ignore…

  4. BrownsTown says: Jul 11, 2012 5:09 PM

    I bet if Obama professed his love of SEC football, the south would get over their issues with him (including that one) Capitalizing on an abnormal love of an entire conference could change the whole political dynamic in this country.

  5. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jul 11, 2012 5:21 PM

    @ Brown Town…
    What issues are you suggesting the South has with Obama?.. Please do enlighten us.

  6. thraiderskin says: Jul 11, 2012 5:33 PM


  7. alligatorsnapper says: Jul 11, 2012 5:33 PM

    At the risk of posting too similar to woebegong, I already had enough of game announcers offering commentary and obvious bias when they are supposed to be neutral, so now we have ESPN offering political ads doing the same thing. It will just seem like a game broadcast!

    Will Fox Sports also do the same thing?

  8. cubano76 says: Jul 11, 2012 5:39 PM

    Wait a second! Obama is black?

  9. thraiderskin says: Jul 11, 2012 5:42 PM

    I just saw the NCAA 2013 commercial with LSU… its too funny.

  10. floridacock says: Jul 11, 2012 5:51 PM

    Another good reason to record the games

  11. dryzzt23 says: Jul 11, 2012 6:13 PM

    Come on, everyone knows that ESPN is a left-wing operation and will air the pro-Obama ads all day long.
    IF they even show any Romney ads it will probably be late at night and it will be on some obscure ESPN channel.

    IF ESPN does this it had better run the ads fairly, not 99% Obama ads to 1% Romney ads. The media is severely left wing and this was evidenced by the coverage of the 2008 election and they are doing the same thing now.

    ESPN had better not charge a “discounted” rate for Obama and then jack it up for Romney.

  12. BrownsTown says: Jul 11, 2012 6:22 PM


    Well, here is an appetizer as we work towards the main course……….

  13. mmajosh says: Jul 11, 2012 6:33 PM

    @brownstown…but he is muslim

  14. sweepthleg says: Jul 11, 2012 6:46 PM


    Come on 60% of all statistics are made up…… I mean 80% of all people know that!

  15. dannythebisforbeast says: Jul 11, 2012 7:10 PM

    They only try to sell the NBA as the greatest thing on earth.

    Beat penn state scandal to death and downplayed or ignored Syracuse scandal

    What makes you think they would possibly show bias in political ads.

  16. normtide says: Jul 11, 2012 7:52 PM

    Brownstown- I think it is safe to say that hockey is the most racist sport out there. Hockey its king of the north, at least since we took football from you. I could guess that you feel the same about the black president as you do the black hockey players. And that has been well documented.

    Just hope the SEC does not decide to play hockey, lest you lose that as well.

  17. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jul 11, 2012 7:55 PM

    What is his faith?
    Was it because of the “White Americans” low turn out or the high turn out of “African Americans” that capped Obama’s victory over Bush?
    Did Obama lost Southern States that previous “white” Democrat candidates enjoyed?
    This is just me personally, Not Facts (Repeat Not Facts)… I, personally, feel like since President Barrack Hussain Obama’s Administration took over, racial divides are much wider then previous Administration

  18. tigersgeaux says: Jul 11, 2012 8:11 PM

    what’s all this racial stuff?

    Obama had a white mother and was raised by a white grandmother.

    A great American actor Morgan Freeman said, “He’s not America’s first black president — he’s America’s first mixed-race president.”

  19. bertenheim says: Jul 11, 2012 9:02 PM

    ESPN doesn’t care. They don’t have to. They have a virtual monopoly on too much stuff. They have too little competition. We’re stuck with them (for now).

  20. onbucky96 says: Jul 11, 2012 9:04 PM

    Argh! Left, Right, they’re all crooks. Save your political douchebagerry for the rest of the week and leave my College Football telecasts alone.

  21. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Jul 11, 2012 9:20 PM

    Disney needs to meet earnings. Some of these ads will be more entertaining than Around the Horn.

  22. overratedgators says: Jul 11, 2012 9:23 PM

    normtide: the SEC could never take over hockey. They lost the recipe for ice and not a single SEC professor or alum can remember how to make it.

  23. normtide says: Jul 11, 2012 9:28 PM

    We can make ice, love it in our tea. We just have better sense then to live in a world of it.

  24. tigersgeaux says: Jul 11, 2012 9:58 PM

    now that is funny….we just have better sense than to live in a world of it…

    and may I add: and to drive in it almost all winter long!

    good Southern sweet iced tea, or as one Southern said, “Is there any other kind?”

  25. thraiderskin says: Jul 11, 2012 10:32 PM

    Hey normtide, its not that you have the sense not to live in the north, its that you couldn’t hang. On an Academic level, I’m not going to go down the road of why there are different colors/races or on a biological level why we are born with certain adaptabilities. All you need to know is we were meant to live in all climates, especially the cold. You do need to understand that you are not better for living in the south, you simply live there and I’ll leave it at that. I enjoy warm weather, but I know lots of people who would prefer cold, when it is supposed to be cold.

  26. thraiderskin says: Jul 11, 2012 10:34 PM

    Oh yeah, watch the LSU NCAA 2013 commercial, its funny…

  27. whalerpilot says: Jul 11, 2012 10:48 PM

    Time out on the Field for the following Political announcement. Will there be disclaimers that ESPN does not endorse the following message from either Party or Super Pacs or will they simply be bought and sold to perpetuate Propaganda to the highest bidder?

  28. normtide says: Jul 11, 2012 10:51 PM

    Assuming your automatically smarter then a sect if people is probably the base form of ignorance. I could debate quantum physics, ancient cultures, or thermo dynamics with you. The nearest large city to me houses the marshall space flight center, the missile space and defense command, and has the second highest number of retired generals. Your universities do a great job teaching kids, but the graduates have to move south or west to work in these high end jobs. There is nothing left in your world except petty jealousy and your nostalgia.

    And, we own you in football…

  29. grudenthediva says: Jul 11, 2012 11:03 PM

    “Come on, everyone knows that ESPN is a left-wing operation and will air the pro-Obama ads all day long.
    IF they even show any Romney ads it will probably be late at night and it will be on some obscure ESPN channel.

    IF ESPN does this it had better run the ads fairly, not 99% Obama ads to 1% Romney ads. The media is severely left wing and this was evidenced by the coverage of the 2008 election and they are doing the same thing now. ”

    Really? Explain to us with proof how ESPN is “left wing”. Seriously, now.

    Also, I find it hysterical that so many wingnuts want to demand fairness in advertising when a.) their lackeys were behind Citizens United, aka “corporations are people” and b.) they get their panties in a twist whenever someone spreads a terrible rumor about the return of the Fairness Doctrine.

    Now go back to whining about the US Olympic team wearing “communist” berets even though they have worn them in three of the last four games. Even Mittens is laughing at that flip-flop.

  30. thraiderskin says: Jul 11, 2012 11:38 PM

    I believe you missed my point normtide, I’m simply saying there is nothing wrong with living in the North. If your issue is the snow, well I’m sorry you are afraid of the fluffy white stuff… I get it, its different, so very scary. I wasn’t bringing up the academics of the North, simply the fact there is an academic reason not to be afraid for fluffy white stuff, as a human being. so as far as ignorance, yeah, you just set the bar high. While I have no issue saying the SEC is better in football, you seem to bank on that hurting my feelings. And the reason for why all those fancy government installations are in the South, they prefer clear skies, calm temperature patterns. I promise you, I appreciate warm weather, but are we jealous of the South, Ha! hardly(I would explain further, but I don’t feel like hurting feelings).

  31. floridacock says: Jul 12, 2012 12:23 AM

    Who cares what the % is!!! Don’t like the message, turn the channel. It is your right.

  32. dmvtransplant says: Jul 12, 2012 1:01 AM

    Two words: Craig James

  33. TxGrown says: Jul 12, 2012 1:01 PM

    Looks like I’ll be hittin’ the fridge during commercial breaks a lot more this season.

  34. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 12, 2012 2:39 PM

    If I want to watch a football game that does not have Alabama or WV in it, I tape and then watch. Thus, I run through the ads. If I am watching WV or Alabama I hit mute during the ads. If I see something I like I rerun and watch it. I could care less what you advertise as I will probably not be watching.
    By the way, according to a book written by Obama, he was raised Muslim. Later his mother’s family took him to a church where what ever you believed it was ok. Just as long as you believed it a lot. So that particular church fit him find. It called itself Christian and he could still believe like a Muslim. What could be better for him. I do not think much of him. But anyone that is unable to say how they really feel, I think even less of them. He is a closet Muslim. I am a born again believer. No one need guess. I am very proud of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I will shout it to the world. If he is ashamed of being a Muslim he should change to something he will not be ashamed of . It is not just the South, there are some northerners who know also that he is a Muslim. After all you just need to read his book.

  35. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jul 12, 2012 5:44 PM

    Dang no one caught my “on purpose” mistake!!

  36. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 12, 2012 7:52 PM

    to thraiderskin: If that is the commercial where the tiger is like a son to Les Miles, I saw it and it is really funny.
    I was racing by when I saw the tiger. Backed up and watched. Another good commercial is where the little boy makes a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich without the bread. Then they show a loaf of white bread. Never eat white bread, but that was funny.
    I truly wonder why they spend so much money on adds. Most people do not watch them. If they do they still only buy what they like. Kids should only be able to buy what they can with their allowance. I know my kids never told me what to buy for snacks or meals. Never stopped them from eating though. Never met a mountaineer with a persnickety stomach. Of course they could advertise toys for birthdays and Christmas. I know who I am going to vote for and it is difficult to believe that their are people who do not know that. After all in this case it is about apples and oranges. The two men have nothing that reminds me of the other. So why try and ruin a football game with their efforts to out lie the other.

  37. Deb says: Jul 13, 2012 3:47 PM

    @BrownsTown …

    Some things never change. I leave for five minutes and return to find you still stereotyping Southerners.

    Honey, Obama took a couple of Southern states in ’08, and even in the reddest Republican states, he pulled 40 percent of the vote. So obviously all SEC fans don’t have issues with him. And those who do aren’t going to change their minds based on what he says about their football teams. Limbaugh is a Steelers fan. Doesn’t make me agree with his politics.

    Guess I’ll be watching the college commercials on mute this season … no matter which candidate is advertising. Football is my escape from all that.

  38. pulpfictionado says: Jul 14, 2012 3:45 PM

    Elite owned democrat sockpuppet vs. elite owned republican sockpuppet. Same shit, different flies.

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