Do politicians pay the lowest advertising rate on a television station? Under FCC rules and regulations, television stations must offer political candidates the lowest unit rate (that is a rate equal to the lowest amount paid by regular advertisers) on the station during the political “window” which is 45 days before the primary and 60 days before the general election. Politicians must be offered the same rate as the station’s most favored advertisers. Lower rates are offered to politicians, but any advertiser wishing to pay the regular rate will pre-empt the ad of the politician. Stations are also authorized to offer a higher rate to guarantee the political ad will not be pre-empted. In summary, politicians are entitled to no more preference than any other television advertiser.