Spanish-Language TV Ads by the Numbers

Free Press spent the final months of the campaign season traveling to swing states to visit TV stations that are not currently required to post their political files to the Federal Communications Commission’s new online database.

When the FCC announced it would require broadcasters to upload data on political ad spending, it exempted all Spanish-language TV stations from posting this information until 2014.

In an effort to fill in the gaps, Free Press staff visited Univision, Telefurtura, Telemundo and other Spanish-language broadcasters in Colorado, Florida and New Mexico in August and September. For the full analysis of our findings, click here to read our report Missing Out: Political Ads, Spanish-Language TV and the Latino Vote.

The presidential campaigns advertised at nearly all of the 11 stations we visited. A U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce study has also documented that spending. We at Free Press were more interested in examining which third-party groups were making ad buys at these stations. Here is a summary of what we found:

KLUZ Albuquerque: no third-party ads

KTFQ Albuquerque: no third-party ads

KGHB Colorado Springs: ads from Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

KVSN Colorado Springs: ads from SEIU

KCEC Denver: ads from SEIU

KDEN Denver: ads from SEIU

KTFD Denver: ads from SEIU

KZCO Denver: ads from SEIU

WAMI Miami: no third-party ads

WLTV Miami: ads from Accountability Watchdog ECO, Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy, MoveOn and Protect Florida's Economic Freedom

WSCV Miami: ads from No Casinos.org

SEIU made substantial ad buys at five of the 11 stations we visited, all in Colorado. We took a close look at SEIU’s spending at those five stations. Here is the data:

In July, August and September, SEIU spent more than $450,000 to run 2,079 ads on Spanish-language TV stations in Colorado Springs and Denver, but placed no ads on Spanish-language TV in Albuquerque or Miami during those months.

KCEC in Denver

July: SEIU spent $72,265 for 127 ads

August: SEIU spent $93,075 for 171 ads

September: SEIU spent $140,660 for 244 ads

Total: 524 ads, $306,000 spent

KDEN in Denver

June 25–July 29: SEIU spent $7,395 for 31 ads

July 30–Aug. 26: SEIU spent $7,395 for 31 ads

July 30–Aug. 17: SEIU spent $422,455 for 92 ads

Aug. 20–31: SEIU spent $7,395 for 31 ads

Sept. 3–7: SEIU spent $19,595 for 84 ads

Sept. 17–21: SEIU spent $12,200 for 53 ads

Total: 322 ads, $76,435 spent

KGHB in Colorado Springs

July: SEIU spent $2,050 for 66 ads

August: SEIU spent $2,710 for 88 ads

September: SEIU spent $2,080 for 68 ads

Total: 222 ads, $6,840 spent

KTFD in Denver

July: SEIU spent $10,180 for 62 ads

August: SEIU spent $14,525 for 91 ads

September: SEIU spent $20,610 for 138 ads

Total: 285 ads, $45,315 spent

KZCO in Denver

July: SEIU spent $5,700 for 174 ads

August: SEIU spent $9,020 for 276 ads

September: SEIU spent $9,020 for 276 ads

Total: 726 ads, $23,740 spent

Are you curious to see what’s hiding in the political files at your local TV station? Great! You can join our Political Ad Sleuth team at PoliticalAdSleuth.com. Click here to see everything we’ve collected so far.

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