One of the greatest elements of sports is the escape from reality. For three hours at a time, you can forget about the real world for a while and immerse yourself into a baseball, basketball, or football game. In an election year, this means seeking safe shelter from the thousands upon thousands of political attack ads. In years past, ESPN was relatively secure from the world of "that guy is going to destroy freedom and liberty" and "that other guy is going to destroy freedom and liberty." But this year, ESPN will air more political campaign ads, not just from the campaigns themselves, but from those kind and gentle Super PACs as well. Details from Politico via the Wall Street Journal:
ESPN will kick off an effort to allow more political ads on college and NFL football programs in October and November, according to a report.
The sports network signed on with NCC Media LLC, an ad-sales venture, to sell a larger portion of its advertising time to political campaigns, The Wall Street Journal said. The network is selling NCC advertising inventory that the network would have normally sold to national advertisers for the fall.
Ed Hardt, ESPN’s president of global customer marketing and sales, told the newspaper that there is “great demand” for political advertising from “political parties and the super PACs.”
Oh, joy. ESPN has dipped their toe into the political arena with controversial results before, but let's be real, it was only a matter of time before a network like ESPN sold more advertising time to campaigns. With sports being one of the few DVR proof television events, it's fertile ground for advertisers of all kinds, especially in an election year.