He estimated that Georgians make up about 10 percent of his viewers. His station has seen millions of dollars in political spending anyway.
“In a year where we had a pandemic, it’s certainly unexpected and welcomed,” Mr. Ellis said.
Stations make the most money off super PACs. While candidates are protected from price-gouging under federal law, the outside groups are not — and some are paying quadruple the price for the same airtime. In Atlanta, for instance, candidates are paying $6,000 for a 30-second ad during “Jeopardy!” and $5,000 for a spot on “Wheel of Fortune”; super PACs are being charged $25,000 and $20,000 for the same slots.
“It’s good money,” said Mr. Acuff at the Chattanooga station.
Among the out-of-state media markets, the most efficient for Georgia campaigns is the Tallahassee, Fla., market, where about 35 percent of viewers live in Georgia.
On the other end of the scale is the Dothan, Ala., market, where only 5 percent of viewers are in Georgia.
Television stations in Dothan might seem small enough to be overlooked by even the most ambitious Georgia politicians. The market reaches a single county in southwestern Georgia, Early, which does not crack the top 100 counties in Georgia by population.
Just over 10,000 people live there, or about 0.1 percent of the state population.
But the margins in Georgia were so excruciatingly small in November — Mr. Biden, the first Democrat to carry the state since 1992, won by fewer than 12,000 votes — that the campaigns are advertising in Dothan even though 95 percent of the market lives outside Georgia.
“This election is going to be extremely close,” said Miryam Lipper, a spokeswoman for Mr. Ossoff, who said reaching all voters “is a top priority for us.”