Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: lowest unit rate

The Political Window Opens Tomorrow – A Refresher on the Basics of Lowest Unit Charge

Posted in Advertising Issues, Political Broadcasting
With the lowest unit charge window for the November elections kicking into effect tomorrow (September 5), we thought that it was a good idea to review the basics FCC rules and policies affecting those charges. With each election seemingly breaking spending records from prior cycles, your station needs to be ready to comply with all … Continue Reading

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters and Webcasters – Children’s Television Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs List, Webcaster Elections and Minimum Fees, the Return of Lowest Unit Rates and More!

Posted in AM Radio, Children's Programming and Advertising, General FCC, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
A new month in a new year, and a number of new regulatory dates are upon us for broadcasters – and important dates for webcasters also fall in this month.  So now that the holidays are quickly becoming just a foggy memory, it is time to sharply focus on those regulatory obligations that you have … Continue Reading

Political Broadcasting Reminder Part 1 – The Basics of Lowest Unit Charges

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Now that the Democratic and Republican conventions are over and the candidates begin the final sprint to the November 6 elections, the political broadcasting season goes into overdrive. Effective last Friday, lowest unit rates are in effect. In this year which will probably break all records for political spending, is your station ready to comply with all of … Continue Reading

FCC Votes to Require Online Public File for TV Stations – Rejects Compromise for Political File

Posted in Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
At its meeting today, the FCC voted to require that television stations maintain most of their public inspection files online, in a database to be created by the FCC (see the FCC’s Public Notice here).  While the details about this obligation have not yet been released, from the comments at the FCC meeting, much is already evident.   All TV … Continue Reading

A Webinar Refresher on the FCC’s Political Broadcasting Rules – Computing Lowest Unit Rates in Spots Sold as Part of Advertising Packages

Posted in Political Broadcasting
While the off-year elections of 2011 are not yet history, the Lowest Unit Rate period for the 2012 Presidential election will soon be upon many stations in the early primary and caucus states.  Last week, Bobby Baker, the head of the FCC’s Office of Political Programming, and I conducted a webinar for 13 state broadcast … Continue Reading

Remember Lowest Unit Charge Windows for Local Political Races and Upcoming Presidential Primaries and Caucuses

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Broadcast stations must charge political candidates the lowest unit rate that they charge any commercial advertiser for a comparable advertising spot during the 45 days before a primary and the 60 days before a general election.  Broadcasters need to remember that this applies to state and local races, as well as Federal campaigns, so those … Continue Reading

Political Broadcasting Reminder – State and Local Candidates Subject to Lowest Unit Charge, No Censorship and Equal Opportunities Rules

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In the waning days before the mid-term election, we have received many questions about the applicability of the political broadcasting rules to state and local candidates.  In particular, we have seen a number of letters from attorneys representing candidates who are running for state and local offices (everything from Governor to county commissioner or school board … Continue Reading

Remember that Political Ads By State and Local Candidates Need to Have Candidate’s Recognizable Voice or Picture to Be a Use

Posted in Political Broadcasting
While most of the FCC’s political broadcasting rules have remain unchanged for almost 20 years, each year there are a few new wrinkles that arise, and seemingly a few misconceptions that make the rounds among advertising agencies that work with political candidates.  One such misconception that seems to be circulating this year is that an ad … Continue Reading

House Committee Passes Revised DISCLOSE Act, Without New Lowest Unit Rate Provisions

Posted in Political Broadcasting
The DISCLOSE Act recently passed the Committee in the House of Representatives charged with dealing with it, without many of the provisions that most worried broadcasters and cable companies.  We recently wrote about the DISCLOSE Act legislation proposed in both the House and Senate in response to the Citizens United Supreme Court case (which freed corporations … Continue Reading

The Impact of the Proposed DISCLOSE Campaign Reform Act on Broadcasters and Cable Operators – Lowest Unit Rates and Reasonable Access for Political Parties, On Line Political File, FCC Audits and More

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In reaction to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision invalidating restrictions on corporate spending on advertising and other messages explicitly endorsing or attacking political candidates (about which we wrote here), new legislation, called the DISCLOSE Act,  has just been introduced in both houses of Congress seeking to mitigate the perceived impact of the Court’s decision.  While … Continue Reading

David Oxenford and FCC’s Bobby Baker Prepare Broadcasters for 2010 Elections with Webinar on Political Broadcasting Rules

Posted in Appearances, Political Broadcasting
On November 10, Davis Wright Tremaine’s David Oxenford and Bobby Baker, the head of the FCC’s Office of Political Broadcasting, conducted a webinar on the FCC’s political broadcasting rules and policies.  The webinar originated from Lansing, Michigan, before an audience of Michigan Broadcasters, and was webcast to broadcasters in 13 other states.  Topics discussed included reasonable access, … Continue Reading

Reminder: Equal Time and Lowest Unit Rate Rules Apply to State and Municipal Elections

Posted in Political Broadcasting
While it seems like we just finished the election season, it seems like there is always an election somewhere.  We are still getting calls about municipal and other state and local elections that are underway.  And broadcasters need to remember that these elections, like the Federal elections that we’ve just been through, are subject to the … Continue Reading

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball – The Outlook for Broadcast Regulation in 2009

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, Digital Radio, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Fairness Doctrine, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Come the New Year, we all engage in speculation about what’s ahead in our chosen fields, so it’s time for us to look into our crystal ball to try to discern what Washington may have in store for broadcasters in 2009. With each new year, a new set of regulatory issues face the broadcaster from the … Continue Reading

Obama Buys A Half Hour of Time on Broadcast Networks – What FCC Legal Issues are Involved?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Press Reports (such as this one) have stated that the Obama campaign has purchased half-hour blocks of time on at least NBC and CBS to broadcast a political infomercial to be aired at 8 PM Eastern time on October 29.  Some reports indicate that other broadcast and cable networks will also be broadcasting the same program.  … Continue Reading

What Happens if a Federal Candidate’s Commercial Does Not Have Proper Sponsorship Disclosure?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Failing to meet the obligations set out under the law for required sponsorship identification on Federal political ads could, theoretically, cost candidates significant amounts of money – if stations decide to hold the candidates to the letter of the law. Under the terms of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (“BCRA”), Federal candidates airing television commercials that refer … Continue Reading

Lowest Unit Rates for Political Candidates Begin on September 5; Get Answers to Political Broadcasting Questions from Our Political Broadcasting Guide

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Political Broadcasting season is now in full swing, with the Democrats just ending their convention, and the Republicans beginning theirs next week.  Already, we’ve seen disputes about third party attack ads (see our post here), and there are bound to be many more issues about the FCC’s political broadcasting rules that arise during what looks to … Continue Reading

The Politcal Broadcasting Implications of An Olympic Ad Buy

Posted in Political Broadcasting
According to press reports, the Obama campaign is contemplating an ad schedule during the upcoming Summer Olympics.  This raises the question of what political broadcasting rules would apply to such a buy.  The Olympics run from August 8 through 24, before the lowest unit rate window for political candidates.  Thus, the Obama campaign is not entitled to … Continue Reading

RAB Adopts Guidelines for “Posting” – Remember to Consider the Political Broadcasting Implications

Posted in Political Broadcasting
At a meeting held this week, the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) adopted Guidelines promoting the use of "posting" or audience delivery guarantees for the radio industry.  While these guidelines are voluntary, and no doubt some broadcasters will not adopt the practice, those who do should be aware of the political broadcasting implications.  For years, at … Continue Reading

Will On-Line Spot Auctions Have an Impact on Lowest Unit Rate? – Only the FCC Knows For Sure

Posted in Political Broadcasting
Last week’s announcement of the partnership between eBay and Bid4Spots and the impending full launch of Google’s service to sell online radio spots beg for FCC action to clarify how these services will be treated for lowest unit rate purposes. We have written about this issue before (see our note here), and the increasing number of online … Continue Reading