Goto Section: 73.1941 | 73.1943 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.1942
Revised as of December 4, 2012
Goto Year:2011 | 2013
§  73.1942   Candidate rates.

   (a) Charges for use of stations. The charges, if any, made for the use
   of any broadcasting station by any person who is a legally qualified
   candidate for any public office in connection with his or her campaign
   for nomination for election, or election, to such office shall not

   (1) During the 45 days preceding the date of a primary or primary
   runoff election and during the 60 days preceding the date of a general
   or special election in which such person is a candidate, the lowest
   unit charge of the station for the same class and amount of time for
   the same period.

   (i) A candidate shall be charged no more per unit than the station
   charges its most favored commercial advertisers for the same classes
   and amounts of time for the same periods. Any station practices offered
   to commercial advertisers that enhance the value of advertising spots
   must be disclosed and made available to candidates on equal terms. Such
   practices include but are not limited to any discount privileges that
   affect the value of advertising, such as bonus spots, time-sensitive
   make goods, preemption priorities, or any other factors that enhance
   the value of the announcement.

   (ii) The Commission recognizes non-premptible, preemptible with notice,
   immediately preemptible and run-of-schedule as distinct classes of

   (iii) Stations may establish and define their own reasonable classes of
   immediately preemptible time so long as the differences between such
   classes are based on one or more demonstrable benefits associated with
   each class and are not based solely upon price or identity of the
   advertiser. Such demonstrable benefits include, but are not limited to,
   varying levels of preemption protection, scheduling flexibility, or
   associated privileges, such as guaranteed time-sensitive make goods.
   Stations may not use class distinctions to defeat the purpose of the
   lowest unit charge requirement. All classes must be fully disclosed and
   made available to candidates.

   (iv) Stations may establish reasonable classes of preemptible with
   notice time so long as they clearly define all such classes, fully
   disclose them and make available to candidates.

   (v) Stations may treat non-preemptible and fixed position as distinct
   classes of time provided that stations articulate clearly the
   differences between such classes, fully disclose them, and make them
   available to candidates.

   (vi) Stations shall not establish a separate, premium-period class of
   time sold only to candidates. Stations may sell higher-priced
   non-preemptible or fixed time to candidates if such a class of time is
   made available on a bona fide basis to both candidates and commercial
   advertisers, and provided such class is not functionally equivalent to
   any lower-priced class of time sold to commercial advertisers.

   (vii) [Reserved]

   (viii) Lowest unit charge may be calculated on a weekly basis with
   respect to time that is sold on a weekly basis, such as rotations
   through particular programs or dayparts. Stations electing to calculate
   the lowest unit charge by such a method must include in that
   calculation all rates for all announcements scheduled in the rotation,
   including announcements aired under long-term advertising contracts.
   Stations may implement rate increases during election periods only to
   the extent that such increases constitute “ordinary business
   practices,” such as seasonal program changes or changes in audience

   (ix) Stations shall review their advertising records periodically
   throughout the election period to determine whether compliance with
   this section requires that candidates receive rebates or credits. Where
   necessary, stations shall issue such rebates or credits promptly.

   (x) Unit rates charged as part of any package, whether individually
   negotiated or generally available to all advertisers, must be included
   in the lowest unit charge calculation for the same class and length of
   time in the same time period. A candidate cannot be required to
   purchase advertising in every program or daypart in a package as a
   condition for obtaining package unit rates.

   (xi) Stations are not required to include non-cash promotional
   merchandising incentives in lowest unit charge calculations; provided,
   however, that all such incentives must be offered to candidates as part
   of any purchases permitted by the licensee. Bonus spots, however, must
   be included in the calculation of the lowest unit charge calculation.

   (xii) Makes goods, defined as the rescheduling of preempted
   advertising, shall be provided to candidates prior to election day if a
   station has provided a time-sensitive make good during the year
   preceding the pre-election periods, perspectively set forth in
   paragraph (a)(1) of this section, to any commercial advertiser who
   purchased time in the same class.

   (xiii) Stations must disclose and make available to candidates any make
   good policies provided to commercial advertisers. If a station places a
   make good for any commercial advertiser or other candidate in a more
   valuable program or daypart, the value of such make good must be
   included in the calculation of the lowest unit charge for that program
   or daypart.

   (2) At any time other than the respective periods set forth in
   paragraph (a)(1) of this section, stations may charge legally qualified
   candidates for public office no more than the changes made for
   comparable use of the station by commercial advertisers. The rates, if
   any, charged all such candidates for the same office shall be uniform
   and shall not be rebated by any means, direct or indirect. A candidate
   shall be charged no more than the rate the station would charge for
   comparable commercial advertising. All discount privileges otherwise
   offered by a station to commercial advertisers must be disclosed and
   made available upon equal terms to all candidate for public office.

   (b) If a station permits a candidate to use its facilities, the station
   shall make all discount privileges offered to commercial advertisers,
   including the lowest unit charges for each class and length of time in
   the same time period, and all corresponding discount privileges,
   available upon equal terms to all candidates. This duty includes an
   affirmative duty to disclose to candidates information about rates,
   terms conditions and all value-enhancing discount privileges offered to
   commercial advertisers. Stations may use reasonable discretion in
   making the disclosure; provided, however, that the disclosure includes,
   at a minimum, the following information:

   (1) A description and definition of each class of time available to
   commercial advertisers sufficiently complete to allow candidates to
   identify and understand what specific attributes differentiate each

   (2) A description of the lowest unit charge and related privileges
   (such as priorities against preemption and make goods prior to specific
   deadlines) for each class of time offered to commercial advertisers;

   (3) A description of the station's method of selling preemptible time
   based upon advertiser demand, commonly known as the “current selling
   level,” with the stipulation that candidates will be able to purchase
   at these demand-generated rates in the same manner as commercial

   (4) An approximation of the likelihood of preemption for each kind of
   preemptible time; and

   (5) An explanation of the station's sales practices, if any, that are
   based on audience delivery, with the stipulation that candidates will
   be able to purchase this kind of time, if available to commercial

   (c) Once disclosure is made, stations shall negotiate in good faith to
   actually sell time to candidates in accordance with the disclosure.

   (d) This rule (§  73.1942) shall not apply to any station licensed for
   non-commercial operation.

   [ 57 FR 209 , Jan. 3, 1992, as amended at  57 FR 27709 , June 22, 1992]

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Goto Section: 73.1941 | 73.1943

Goto Year: 2011 | 2013
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