Lowest Unit Rate Period Changes as Presidential Primary and Special Elections Delayed

Presidential Primary: On Saturday, Governor Cuomo moved the Presidential primary from April 28 to June 23rd.  This is the same date as the other primaries for federal, state and local offices.  This means the Lowest Unit Rate period for the Presidential election will now start on May 9th, as opposed to its original date of March 14th.

Special Elections: Governor Cuomo also moved dates for special elections to June 23rd.  The Lowest Unit Charge period is 60 days for a special election.  The period LUC period will begin on April 24th for the following elections:

  • 27th Congressional District – Formerly occupied by Congressman Chris Collins.  This includes Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston Counties, as well as parts of Monroe, Niagara and Ontario counties.
  • 12th  NY Assembly District – Long Island including Northport, Huntington and Melville.
  • 31st NY Assembly District – Long Island Queens County including the Far Rockaway’s
  • 136th  NY Assembly District – Rochester
  • 50th NY Senate District – Syracuse Suburbs including Onondaga and Cayuga counties.

There is an issue regarding political advertisements sold during the old LUC period and those sold now with the LUC period no longer in effect. (The new LUC period will begin May 9th for the primary elections and April 24th for the special elections.) Even if you are no longer in the LUC period, you are still bound by the FCC’s equal opportunities rules.  If your station sold advertising previously during the LUC period, opposing candidates have seven days; from the time the advertisement is broadcast and listed in your on-line political file, to claim equal opportunities at that amount for the same class of time.  If the opposing candidate fails to do so in a timely manner, you may charge that candidate a comparable rate at a non-LUC price. In fact, you can charge candidates a comparable non LUC price during this interim time period. Remember, if you reset prices for a similar class of time during this interim period, they must be offered a comparable rates to both candidates. Of course the LUC amounts will go back into effect on May 9th for the primary elections and April 24th for the special elections.

This is a novel situation. We urge you to consult your own communications or corporate counsel.

The Governors Executive Order can be found HERE.


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