The Kerry ads in Florida are not very descriptive as we all know already. But I have noticed that his ads are being bumped to a 1-3 am timeslot and I hardly seeing any ran during mid-day/evening. The ads being run in that timeslot are Bush/Cheney. Is this broadcast station bias? Or is their a strategy here that I'm not seeing.
I would be ASTONISHED if this was "bias" -
When you buy a media contract you have choices -
1) - You can specify the actual show/time where an add runs, and pay the price according to the show (You pay more for an ad during the SuperBowl than for one during the 3.00 am re-run of Gilligan's Island)
2) - You can Buy "GRPs" (Gross Rating Points) where you do not get to specify the exact show, but they guarantee that your ads will be seen by a specified number of people in totality. (Depending on the contract, they may also guarantee a specified exposure to a specific demographic)
Buying media time is a very "let's make a deal" environment where the terms and condidtions are very flexible.(Think used car salesmen, except less reputable)
My "guess" is that when Kerry bought his flight of ads down in Florida one of the "freebies" the station tossed was likely some "off peak" time for free.
This is very, very typical in the TV business.
TV programs are produced on the assumption of a full slate of ads (ie a half hour show is only about 23 minutes long to accomadate 7 minutes of ads) - To make sure that the "half hour" show running from 2.30 am to 3.00 am actually stays in it's time slot, stations fill the 7 minutes of airtime with "whatever" -
They usually let the advertising sales force throw this time into other deals as a way to close the deal.