July 31, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

FCC Approves New Rule on Political TV Advertising

Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski said the broadcaster requirements are part of an ongoing effort at the agency to move disclosure information online.

“I have my needle stuck on this,” she added. “You’re going to see whatever opportunities there are in the committee I’m on and its jurisdictions, as well as other areas, to really press hard for disclosure.”

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) also a member of that subcommittee, said that the Federal Election Commission, not the FCC, should make decisions about political campaigns.

“This is where the FCC starts getting into politics,” Terry said Thursday. “I don’t think that’s appropriate to put that level of burden. It’s already made public.”

Broadcasters also have argued that compliance would reveal proprietary pricing data to competitors.

The National Association of Broadcasters cautioned that stations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars maintaining public files in busy political seasons.

“We’re disappointed that the commission rejected compromise proposals proffered by broadcasters,” NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said in a statement. “By forcing broadcasters to be the only medium to disclose on the Internet our political advertising rates, the FCC jeopardizes the competitive standing of stations.”

The rule also faced criticism from good-government groups that favor disclosure. The Sunlight Foundation said the FCC should not have exempted some media markets, because smaller news channels in key battleground states could air a considerable number of political ads.

“Many large markets, which charge the highest advertising rates, can have relatively little election-related advertising,” Sunlight spokeswoman Liz Bartolomeo said in a written statement.

A version of this story originally appeared on CQ.com

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