Obama Buying Half-Hour Block of Prime-time Broadcast

Network Buy Will Air Oct. 29

By Published on .

WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- In what is likely become biggest network-TV buy of the presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama is buying 30 minutes of time on major TV networks for a program to air from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 29.

The 30-minute buy is apparently the first of that length since Ross Perot ran for president in 1992.

The Obama campaign didn't immediately detail the programming it planned, but there were indications it was seeking to air the 30-minute program in a roadblock on major TV networks, according to an official of one network. According to James Hibberd, who first broke the news, the buy on CBS will "push comedy 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' to 8:30 p.m. and pre-empt 'Gary Unmarried.'" NBC, writes Mr. Hibberd, is also close to a deal.

Fox's airing of a baseball telecast could prevent it from airing the program, according to a network source.

The latest network-TV buy comes in a year in which the presidential candidates have rewritten the rules of political ad buying by using network TV in addition to TV in battleground states. Broadcast network TV hadn't been bought by any presidential candidate in 12 years. Instead, all advertising money went to battleground states.

Updates to follow
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