Lowest Unit Charge Period in Effect for Political Candidates
From now through Election Day (November 2), the Commission’s lowest unit charge (“LUC”) requirements are in effect. During the LUC period, a candidate may not be charged more than the lowest unit charge paid by any other advertiser that clears a spot for the same class of time, length of spot and in the same time period. Class of time generally refers to the degree of preemptibility assigned to the spot. Length of spot refers to the duration of the spot (30 seconds, 60 seconds, etc.). Period of time refers to the time of day during which the spot is designated to run (e.g. prime time). During the LUC period, stations must give qualified political candidates (federal, state or local) the same treatment as the station’s most favored commercial advertiser. In other words, a candidate running a single spot is entitled to the same unit rate as a major commercial advertiser that has purchased hundreds of commercial spots at a bulk discount (for the same class of time, length of spot and time period).