Texas Media Markets

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Texas Media Markets: Where are they? What are they? How much do they really cost?

As the Early Voting period begins and the presidential campaigns begin to ramp up their media buys for the Primary Election, I thought it might be helpful to provide a little information about the Texas media markets.

A “Media Market” is the delineation between where one station's coverage area ends, and another station's coverage area begins.

Cable markets are totally different and will be broken down in another journal later.

Putting everything into one journal would be pretty daunting, but I am able to lay out some basic information and I'm sure that there are a lot of folks in the BOR community that would happily try to answer lingering questions.

First things first: there are 20 Media Markets in Texas.

Special thanks to nbeaudrot helped out with a great link to a map: http://ekb.dbstalk.com/TVMarke…

There's more below the fold!Alphabetically, they are:




Beaumont-Port Arthur

Corpus Christi

Dallas-Ft. Worth

El Paso (Las Cruces)






San Angelo

San Antonio






Wichita Falls & Lawton

If you want to know which counties are in each market, I'd be happy to post those as requested.

As you'll see below if you're not seeing the Clinton and Obama spots on your local station…there may be a reason…

Texas Media Markets

Ranked by % of Texas' Television Households

HH data based on 2006 Estimates, Voter Data based on 2004 Democratic Primary for RRC

Until I figure out embedding, you can view the chart here:



ADI=Area of Dominant Influence

CPP= Cost Per Point for 35+ Demographic

Clearly you can see that, contrary to many national media personalities, you don't have to buy every market to reach effectiveness in media buying.

Most often when discussing media buys you will hear much talk about “Cost Per Point”.

In short, Cost Per Point (CPP) is derived through a formula where the cost of the advertising buy is related to the “Gross Rating Points” or grips–the “ratings” we so often hear about regarding television programming that measure how many people are watching a show.

You can refer to it as the dollar cost of each 1 percent of your targeted viewing audience.  The simplest way to understand it is to assume that 100 points creates a viewing frequency of 1 (on average).  So if you have $50,000 to go on the air in Corpus Christi you'll get 1,000 Points…which means the average viewer will see your ad 10 times. 1,000 points is usually the threshold you need to be at to ensure message penetration.  Of course the ad's content and character effect message penetration as well.

CPP is a simple way to try and predict, in a quantifiable way) the efficiency of your media buy: “How many times will people see my spot?”. As always, people who live in front of a television are likely to see the ad far more than someone who doesn't watch television. But CPP is an easy way to predict average frequency among viewers.

All of the data above is used by media consultants to make your “buy”–the actual exchange of your money for their airtime.

Contrary to my posts, I'm not perfect or infallible.  If anyone finds errors/ommissions, please feel free to let me know.  As questions arise, I hope everyone feels free to jump in and help provide the clearest, most accurate information possible.

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  1. Doing things right in Houston – Obama
    I've seen Obama's ads in houston especially during the network morning shows and sunday talks.  Last week was “mother” and just today I saw the new one about Kids and TV and Education.  Both are excellent ads which really play well IMO to introduce him to voters.

    Most telling, every ad ends advertising Early Voting Dates which is great!  Hopefully soon they'll advertise the Caucus process too.  Haven't heard much on Radio yet then again I hardly have the time for Radio.

    • expected
      unfortunate that you've attempted to hijack a post based on pure information and not backing or endorsing any candidate or position.

      Same ol counter productive Nate.

  2. Hi Colin,
    Thanks for the information. How would I go about finding out how much the media is in each of the top five media markets. I read that Dallas/Fort worth was really expensive.

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