Reports: Trump 'SNL' Appearance Triggers Three Airtime Asks

Pataki, Graham, Kasich seek equal opportunity
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According to various reports, three Republican presidential candidates—Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and John Kasich—have asked NBC TV stations for airtime following Donald Trump's Nov. 7 appearance on Saturday Night Live.

NBC stations filed their notice of the appearance on Nov. 9, which gave candidates seven days to make their requests.

According to the FCC's "equal opportunities" rule, local stations that provide nonnews airtime to qualified federal candidates have to give other candidates an equal opportunity for equivalent airtime.

According to the notice, Trump got a total of 12 minutes and five seconds per the following notice, which was posted in the FCC's online political file database:

"Donald Trump, a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in the 2016 national election, appeared without charge on NBC's Saturday Night Live for a total period of 12:05 (12 minutes and 5 seconds) commencing at 11:39:11 PM ET on November 7 and ending at 1:01:01AM ET on November 8, 2015. Station WNBC New York, NY , is affiliated with the NBC Television Network and broadcast the November 7 episode of Saturday Night Live, including the segments in which Mr. Trump appeared."

The obligation is on the stations, not on NBC or SNL, to provide the time.

NBC stations also posted notices after candidate Hillary Clinton's appearance on the show Oct. 3, and its re-airing Oct. 24 for a total of 6 minutes and 24 seconds.

Democrat Lawrence Lessig asked for time following Clinton's appearance, but after Lessig suspended his campaign Nov. 2, the request—of 47 stations—was never resolved, according to Lessig's attorney, Adam Bonin.

Candidate seeking the time have to make a showing that, in this case Trump and Clinton, are legally qualified candidates per a multi-part FCC test. Once a candidate meets that test in 10 states they are considered a national candidate and stations in every state are in play. Until then, only the stations in states where a candidate is legally qualified has to provide the time upon that showing.

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