Political Broadcasting - Answering Your Questions on the FCC’s Rules and Policies
The FCC's political broadcasting rules have been the bane of broadcast station general managers and sales personnel for as long as the rules have existed. The rules require that broadcasters sell rock-bottom priced spots to transient advertisers, who are often the least familiar with broadcast sales practices, yet demand the most time and attention from station sales representatives. Consequently, broadcasters end up getting the least money for spots that take the most time to sell. These spots also often cause the most heartache, since there is always the threat of FCC enforcement action or, at least, the cost of attorneys to help avoid getting the rules wrong.
While they can seem impenetrable and ever-changing, the same basic rules have been in place for well over a decade, with only minimal changes in the sponsorship identification and public file requirements mandated by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. With a little attention, memorization, and assistance from our handy guide, the basics of the political rules can be readily deciphered.
Inside this guide:
- The Basics—Speak the Language
- Preparing for an Election—What to Worry About in Pre-election Periods
- Reasonable Access—Deciding Which Candidates Can Buy Time
- Equal Opportunities—Treating Competing Candidates Alike
- No Censorship and Third-Party Ads—What Responsibility Do Stations Have for Content
- Lowest Unit Charges—How Much Money Can You Charge for Political Spots
- Sponsorship Identification and BCRA Requirements
- Public File and Disclosure Statements
- Conclusion—Questions and Resource
For the complete guide, click here.