Barack Obama is coming to primetime.
The Democratic presidential nominee has purchased 30 minutes of time on CBS and NBC to attempt to win over voters just days before the election. He booked the same date and timeslot on both networks: 8 pm/ET, on Oct. 29.
A CBS spokeswoman declined to comment, but an NBC source confirmed the deal to Variety. A source told the newspaper the campaign was also talking to Fox, but there could be a conflict with the World Series.
Campaigns usually focus on TV markets in battleground states, and both the Obama and John McCain campaigns are doing so. But the buy also allows Obama to target several swing states at once.
Both candidates have also bought network time for ads in daytime hours and during nightly news shows. Independent candidate Ross Perot bought a half-hour of network time during his unsuccessful 1992 run for the president, highlighting a series of charts and graphs to illustrate his economic proposals.
Federal equal-time rules would require CBS and NBC to offer similar rates to McCain campaign if his campaign tries to buy its own half-hour slots.
Of course, the ABC time slot seems to be open opposite Obama — so McCain could also go for some counter-programming.