May 23, 2016 by Media Solutions Category: Blog 0 comments

anna-color                               kelly-color

Even though one of the two Presidential nominees has been determined (and the other will be soon as
well), the California Primary is still happening, and is, for those who reside in the Golden State, very important. Whether you are on the Broadcast or Agency side, this time of year the two words that everyone dreads are: Political Window.

A quick refresher on the window: in the 45 days prior to a Primary (or Caucus) and 60 days prior to the General Election, a candidate purchasing advertising “shall be charged no more per unit than the station charges its most favored commercial advertisers for the same classes and amounts of time for the same periods.” (FCC, Sections 73.1942 [47 CFR § 73.1942], Section 76.206 [47 CFR §76.206] Candidate rates).

If you are at all curious what the landscape looks like for television stations in early Primary/Caucus states, visit Stations.FCC.gov and type in the call letters of your favorite broadcast TV station. Or, take a look at a station in Iowa, where their Political Window was open from December 18 through February 1. The Political File for KCCI‐TV in Des Moines is quite impressive for 2016, and will only continue to grow as Iowa will also hold a Primary on June 7 and is considered to be a Swing State in November.

As of today, California is in the window leading up to the Primary on June 7th. In case you don’t have it marked on your calendar (highly advised if you haven’t yet), the next window opens on September 9th. What does this mean for your in‐window advertising? We have some thoughts:

Planning is critical. The farther in advance you are able to get an order in, the better. This is less to do with rates, and more to do with stations selling out.

Flexibility is greatly appreciated by both broadcasters and planners. If you aren’t up for election or trying to pass/defeat a ballot initiative on November 8, running your schedule before the window opens or after it closes is an option, it might be worth exploring.

Creativity is valuable. Since zero dollar spots affect a stations lowest unit rate (LUR), bonus weight can be hard to come by during the election. We pride ourselves on in‐window creativity. Like any good cook, we don’t like to talk about our special recipe, but drop a line if you want to find out more.

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