Daniels Cablevision's decision to provide free ad time
to candidates for federal office in Carlsbad and Desert Hot Springs, Calif., has resulted
in unprecedented state and national publicity for the operator.
The country has learned about the effort by Daniels founder
Bill Daniels to give free ad time, worth more than $80,000, to candidates for Senate and
Congress from the operator's home districts in Southern California.
The plan was profiled on Cable News Network; included on an
election-season-overview piece on ABC's Good Morning America; and written up
by the Associated Press and picked up by newspapers throughout the state.
"We're averaging two interviews a week from
across the country," Daniels system spokesman Phil Urbina said.
Spots for six Democratic and Republican candidates are in
the ad rotation now, Urbina said, including spots for U.S. Senate combatants Barbara Boxer
and Matt Fong. Candidates for minor parties have indicated that they will accept the free
ad offer, but that they need production help.
The cable systems have also offered to produce the ad spots
for a fee, Urbina said, adding that Daniels can put together spots for as little as $600.
However, some candidates have so little funds that they need to find production help
closer to home.
The effort has garnered a local response, too, Urbina said.
The system received a letter from a local state assemblyman, praising Daniels for the free
The ads will run in the two systems through the first week
of November. The system has scheduled 54 spots per week between 6 a.m. and midnight across
18 satellite networks.
One of the factors to be tabulated after the election is
over is the impact on ad sales. At least one of the candidates so far has bought ads on
the system in addition to the free flight, Urbina said, and it has yet to be seen if the
political parties include Daniels in their buys as Election Day draws closer.