McCain buys into Olympics

GOP flagbearer outspends Obama with $6 million worth of Games ads

A week after the Obama campaign spent $5 million on advertising during NBC's Beijing Olympics telecasts, the McCain campaign has ponied up $6 million.

It isn't clear how much McCain would be spending per spot. A primetime 30-second spot for a regular advertiser is going for as much as $750,000.

McCain's buy includes multiple dayparts on NBC, including primetime, as well as cable for the 21/2 weeks of the Olympics.

That sets up a battle between the likely Democratic and Republican presidential nominees during the summer's biggest TV event and well before the normal post-Labor Day intensity of the campaign. McCain's and Obama's commercials also will run before the party nominating conventions; the Democrats' is Aug. 25-28 in Denver, and the Republicans' is Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn.

The buys by Obama and McCain are the first national broadcast TV spots by a presidential campaign since Bob Dole bought a single national TV commercial in 1996. Most of the TV advertising — and there is still a lot of it — is done on local TV in battleground states and on cable. (partialdiff)