Channel 73 on the Dish Network is now The Obama Channel.
Obama’s media buying strategy has been marked by a willingness to work the angles, and to try to pick up a few votes at the margins. The decision to go to everything from extensive radio buys to odd-hour infomercials reflects the fact that the campaign media buyers spend a lot of time thinking about how much persuasion any given dollar can buy, and given a very cheap format — late night cable channels that need filler, for instance — will settle for a thimblefull of persuasion.
The satellite channel is the latest of these marginal gambits: Three readers from different parts of the country email that Channel 073-00 on the Dish Network is now labeled OBAMA. (“What is up with Sen. Obama having his own channel?” asks a St. Louis reader.) The channel plays his two-minute ad laying out his economic plan on a loop, over and over.
The only explanation: The media buyers think they can reach enough people per dollar to make it worth the odd buy.
The channel’s appearance has provoked scorn and alarm on conservative blogs, though, and some discussion on a forum for Satellite TV aficionados, where one user writes that a Dish Network executive emailed to reassure the user that it “is paid advertising by the Obama campaign and is not an endorsement of Senator Obama by DISH Network” and will broadcast through November 4.
Dish Network spokesman Parker McConachie confirmed the forum account, and stressed that the channel is paid advertising, and not a corporate endorsement.