The deadline for 2022 candidates in Texas to file for a place on the March 1 primary ballot was this past Monday. Deadlines in other states will follow during the first part of 2022. As a result, broadcast stations and cable companies in Texas are already dealing with legally qualified candidates, and the FCC political rules that attach to those candidates. Stations in other states will follow soon. Even before these deadlines, stations are dealing with buys from potential candidates, PACs, and other third-party groups looking to establish positions for the important 2022 elections. Spending on political advertising is sure to increase as the new year rolls around, and some suggest that it could rival that spent in 2020. What should broadcast stations be thinking about now to get ready for the 2022 elections?
We have written about some of the issues that broadcasters should already be considering in our Political Broadcasting Guide (which we plan to update shortly). Obviously, one of the primary issues is lowest unit rates, which become effective 45 days before the primaries (or before any caucus which is open to members of the general public). In Texas, those rates will begin in mid-January for the March 1 primary, and lowest unit charge (“LUC”) windows will open in other states throughout the first part of 2022. With these rate windows soon to be upon us, stations should begin the process of determining what rates will apply during the window, as stations are no doubt now writing packages with spots that will be running during the window. In addition to our Political Broadcasting Guide, we wrote about other issues you should be considering in determining your lowest unit rates here. These articles provide just an outline of issues to consider in determining the rates that will apply in the window, so start conversations now with your attorney and political advertising advisors to make sure that these rates are being determined accurately and in compliance with FCC rules and policies.
Continue Reading Candidate Filing Deadline for the Primaries in the Texas 2022 Elections Just Passed – What Should Your Station, No Matter Where It Is, Be Doing to Prepare for the Coming Election Advertising Deluge?