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By Alicia Adamczyk
September 26, 2016
A TV technician is seen by the stage of the first presidential debate at Hofstra University's David & Mack Sport and Exhibition Complex in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. The first US presidential debate, between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, is one of the high points of the campaign, six weeks from the November 8 elections.
A TV technician is seen by the stage of the first presidential debate at Hofstra University's David & Mack Sport and Exhibition Complex in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. The first US presidential debate, between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, is one of the high points of the campaign, six weeks from the November 8 elections.
Timothy A. Clary—AFP/Getty Images

As many as 100 million Americans are expected to tune in to tonight’s presidential debate, the first of three between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. And while debates don’t often hit Super Bowl-level ratings, this is no normal election year: it’s expected to be the most-watched event in U.S. political history.

While the 90-minute debate itself will be have no ads, networks are aggressively selling pre-show and post-debate analysis show ads. According to Variety, CBS is asking for $200,000 to $225,000 for a 30-second spot during its post-debate coverage — about the same as a typical prime time show. Paul Rittenberg, Executive Vice President of advertising sales for Fox News Channel, told AdWeek the network is expecting a “multimillion-dollar revenue night” for its coverage. Other networks report being sold out or almost sold out of ad slots for all three of the debates.

Read Next: Money Questions We Want Clinton and Trump to Answer at Monday’s Debate

But with Facebook, Twitter, and other digital outlets reaching as many, if not more, people than traditional TV, ad buyers are looking to non-traditional ways to get their election season messages across—including the candidates themselves. Trump launched two Snapchat filters for the debate, one with a banner reading “Donald J. Trump vs Crooked Hillary.” Clinton’s campaign announced it has at least $30 million earmarked for digital ads.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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