On September 4, the political advertising window opened on Boston television and radio stations. This is a 60 day period leading up to a general election when broadcast stations licensed by the Federal Communication Commission are obligated to offer candidates for national office the opportunity to buy commercials at the lowest unit rate (LUR).
For example, if a high-frequency advertiser like McDonald's earns the lowest rates on a particular Boston radio station during morning drive-time, then any candidate for federal office must, during the 60-day political window, be offered the same rate for morning drive time on that station, regardless of frequency.
If, however, the McDonald's rate is contingent on the radio station's ability to pre-empt commercials without notice, then qualified candidates must agree to identical terms to receive the same rate.
To facilitate the purchase of commercials on Boston radio, stations will supply candidates with a political rate-card. This card will show the LUR by time of day and by preemption parameters.
Here are other important facts about political advertising on Boston radio.