Midterm political ads could boost network coffers by $2.5 billion

Fallout from the Supreme Court's decision on campaign finance reform could result in a $2.5 billion profit for media companies because of the influx of political ads, according to a new study from the media tracking firm SNL Kagan.

The group forecasted a 25 percent revenue rise above 2006 for TV and radio stations in states with highly competitive races, according to a release.

Most of the $2.5 billion will go to TV networks, but radio ad revenue is expected to reach about $560 million, the group said.

“In 2010, we expect that the combination of political unrest, high-profile congressional and gubernatorial races, and the Jan. 21 Supreme Court ruling that struck down certain laws restricting corporate and labor contributions to campaigns will lead to a political ad revenue treasure trove for broadcasters," said SNL Kagan Analyst Tony Lenoir in the release.

The January Supreme Court ruling lifted spending restrictions on political advertisements by corporations and unions.

Several of the most competitive races this cycle are in the country's most expensive media markets: California's Senate and gubernatorial campaigns, Pennsylvania's Senate race, Florida's Senate and gubernatorial races and Illinois's Senate race. Several tight House races are also happening in Chicago's expensive media market.

The Senate is debating the Disclose Act, the Democrats' legislative response to the Supreme Court decision, all day Wednesday, with a vote expected Thursday afternoon. The House passed its version of the legislation in June.