Mike Bloomberg's campaign has purchased a 60-second ad to air nationally during the Super Bowl, the highest-watched television event of the year, CBS News has confirmed. The ad cost roughly $10 million to be aired once, but the seven-figure price tag isn't likely to faze the billionaire, who is self-financing his campaign.
The ad was purchased in part to counter what was expected to be a 30-second national spot purchased by the Trump campaign. However, a senior Trump campaign official then confirmed to CBS News that the campaign would be spending $10 million on 60 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl. This development was first reported by Politico.
The president traditionally does an interview with the network hosting the Super Bowl every year. This year, the game is airing on Fox; President Trump often tweets praise for and appears on programs aired by sister cable network Fox News.
Although the ad will air a day and a half before the Iowa caucuses, Bloomberg is seeking a more national impact. Bloomberg is skipping the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries in favor of focusing on states with more delegates, like the 16 states which hold primaries on Super Tuesday. Bloomberg's campaign also argues that airing a national spot will allow him to focus on states that are not typically reached by presidential candidates.
The Super Bowl is watched by around 100 million Americans per year. In 2019, 98.2 million watched the game, the lowest audience in over a decade. During the last presidential election in 2016, 111.9 million people watched the Super Bowl.
Bloomberg's campaign has spent the most on TV ads at this point in the campaign, with an outlay of $143 million. Fellow billionaire Tom Steyer's campaign has spent $115.8 million on TV ads. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders' campaign has spent $14 million, Pete Buttigieg's campaign has spent $11.4 million and Elizabeth Warren's campaign has spent $10 million on TV ads. Every other candidate has spent less than $10 million.
Ed O'Keefe, Tim Perry and Adam Brewster contributed to this report.