The time slots were bought apparently in part to capitalize on the Republican National Convention and the Sarah Palin firestorm, but the buy also included a broader purchase of all day parts that is still running.
Both ABC and CBS confirmed buys. Fox reported no similar buy, and NBC didn't return a request for comment.
The ABC buy was $199,300 on ABC's "Good Morning America," "Nightline" and "World News Tonight"; it started Sept. 4 and ran through Sept. 7. It included six 30-second spots on "Good Morning America," three on "World News" and two on "Nightline." CBS didn't disclose the size of its much larger buy, but said the buy was on news and daytime programming. The McCain campaign has been using some of its advertising to target women since the selection of Ms. Palin, and the CBS buy appeared to be targeted toward them.
There were indications the McCain campaign also made cable network buys. Unlike broadcast networks, cable networks don't have to disclose the buys.
The Obama campaign launched the buying of network spots this year, sinking $5 million into ads on NBC's Olympics coverage, and the McCain campaign subsequently bought a $6 million Olympics package.