Opinions and Legal Insights

Reminder – Lowest Unit Charges Do Apply to Run-Off Elections

Earlier this week, we wrote that the FCC issued a public notice stating that Lowest Unit Charges (or lowest unit rates as they are often called) do not apply to post-election political ads (e.g. ads that urge ballots to be counted in any particular manner).  One important caveat to that advice is that LUC does apply to any elections that are held based on outcomes that were not determinative on Tuesday’s Election Day.  So, for instance, the run-off election (or elections) for the US Senate from the state of Georgia, that will be held on January 5, 2021, have an LUC period that begins today, November 6 – 60 days before that run-off.  The 60-day period applies as the run-off is considered by the FCC to be another general election.  Other states have similar rules for run-offs where no candidate receives 50% of the vote.  So if there are run-offs in your service area in which candidates want to buy political advertising time, LUC will apply to those elections, and you will need to compute the appropriate period for during which candidates cannot be charged more than the lowest unit charge for commercial advertising of the same class that runs in the same time period.