CNN is charging companies 40 times more than its normal rates for advertisements during the upcoming Republican debate, a sign that debate will again bring in huge ratings, just as the first GOP debate did for Fox News.
The network is asking for as much as $200,000 for a 30-second slot in the debate's commercial schedule, AdAge reports. That's up from the normal $5,000 per slot.
The rate hike is likely the result of an expected viewership surge caused mostly by the phenomenon of Donald Trump's candidacy.
CNN's effort to capitalize on the event could end up fueling an ongoing debate between CNN and Trump. The front-runner has suggested that he may not show up for the debate unless CNN donates $10 million to a charity of Trump's choosing.
Trump's theory is that he is the one driving huge ratings, and the evidence is compelling. The Fox News debate on Aug. 6 prominently featuring Trump attracted 24 millions viewers, and was the highest-rated telecast in the network's history. As it is, Fox is the pinnacle of cable news ratings, comfortably outpacing CNN, MSNBC, etc in nightly ratings.
In 2011, the first GOP primary was watched by 3.2 million viewers. The August GOP debate was also more watched than this year's NBA Finals, or last year's World Series, according to CNN Money.