Goto Section: 76.205 | 76.207 | Table of Contents

FCC 76.206
Revised as of
Goto Year:1996 | 1998
Sec. 76.206  Candidate rates.

    (a) Charges for use of cable television systems. The charges, if 
any, made for the use of any system 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 exceed:
    (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 system for the same class and amount of time for the same 
    (i) A candidate shall be charged no more per unit than the system 
charges its most favored commercial advertisers for the same classes and 
amounts of time for the same periods. Any system practices offered to 
commercial advertisers that enhance the value of advertising spots must 
be disclosed and made available to candidates upon 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-preemptible, preemptible with 
notice, immediately preemptible and run-of-schedule as distinct classes 
of time.
    (iii) Systems 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. 
Systems 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) Systems may establish reasonable classes of preemptible with 
notice time so long as they clearly define all such classes, fully 
disclose them and make them available to candidates.
    (v) Systems may treat non-preemptible and fixed position as distinct 
classes of time provided that systems articulate clearly the differences 
between such classes, fully disclose them, and make them available to 
    (vi) Systems shall not establish a separate, premium-priced class of 
time sold only to candidates. Systems 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. Systems 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. Systems 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 ratings.
    (ix) Systems 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, systems 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

[[Page 534]]

every program or daypart in a package as a condition for obtaining 
package unit rates.
    (xi) Systems 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 system. Bonus spots, however, must be 
included in the calculation of the lowest unit charge calculation.
    (xii) Make goods, defined as the rescheduling of preempted 
advertising, shall be provided to candidates prior to election day if a 
system has provided a time-sensitive make good during the year preceding 
the pre-election periods, respectively set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of 
this section, to any commercial advertiser who purchased time in the 
same class.
    (xiii) Systems must disclose and make available to candidates any 
make good policies provided to commercial advertisers. If a system 
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, systems may charge legally qualified 
candidates for public office no more than the charges made for 
comparable use of the system 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 system would charge for 
comparable commercial advertising. All discount privileges otherwise 
offered by a system to commercial advertisers must be disclosed and made 
available upon equal terms to all candidates for public office.
    (b) If a system permits a candidate to use its cablecast facilities, 
the system 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 on 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. Systems 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 enough 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 system'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 system'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, systems shall negotiate in good faith 
to actually sell time to candidates in accordance with the disclosure.

[ 57 FR 210 , Jan. 3, 1992, as amended at  57 FR 27709 , June 22, 1992]

Goto Section: 76.205 | 76.207

Goto Year: 1996 | 1998
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