Originally published: April 25, 2012
Last updated: April 25, 2012 - 8:35pm
This month, just before the Pennsylvania primary, Mitt Romney's campaign bought a 30-second commercial on CBS-owned KYW-TV Philadelphia that ran during the station's late local news. The ad cost $1,800. That's hardly confidential information. The details of such political advertising purchases are available to anybody willing to schlep to their local television station and ask to see the public files. But now the Federal Communications Commission wants to take that same material, which is required by law to be made available to the public, out of a dusty filing cabinet and onto the Internet.
On April 27, the FCC will vote on whether to make that a new rule. Broadcasters are crying foul. Even though that information is already technically public, they fear putting that level of detail on the Web will undermine their own businesses. "One poker player would, in effect, have had at least a partial glance at the other's hand," broadcast networks CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and Univision wrote in comments. By law, in the weeks leading up to a primary or general election, broadcasters are required to sell candidates ad time at the lowest rate paid by a commercial business in that same show or time of day. (Commercial rates fluctuate on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.) The concern among TV station owners is that commercial advertisers will use the detailed information about rates as leverage in their own negotiations. There is also fear that one station could learn what another is charging and then undercut its rates with advertisers.
- Restore Our Future, Mitt Romney Super PAC, Launching $4 Million Ad Buy In 9 States
- Romney to saturate Illinois airwaves ahead of primary
- Romney 2012 strategist Stuart Stevens blasts Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Barack Obama and the corrupt media
- Romney, Clinton Air Most New Hampshire TV Spots
- Buying A Political Ad? Let A SuperPAC Foot The Bill
- CBS, Dish Reach Carriage Deal
- 28 hours of political ads and a few minutes of news
- News goes on vacation at CBS-owned stations
- Paula Kerger, PBS Chief, Calls For Viewers To Oppose Mitt Romney's Stance Towards TV Funding
- Who Has the Most-Aired Ad of the Election So Far? President Obama
- APTS, Rep. Blumenthal Take Up for Big Bird
- Forget the Debates -- Focus on the Air War!
- Fox and CBS say TV advertising holding up
- Expensive and Bitter Media War Already Ignited
- Biggest loser in Pennsylvania primary isn't Santorum