Politics

Trump's SNL gig could trigger rivals to use 'equal time' rule

Donald Trump may not be the only presidential hopeful to host "Saturday Night Live" this election cycle.

A source with NBC told the Washington Examiner Friday the network will "evaluate and address" any equal time requests it receives from other candidates looking to reap the benefits of a Federal Communications Commission statute established in 1934.

The FCC's "equal opportunities" rule mandates that a television station granting airtime to one candidate must offer the same amount of airtime to other candidates running for the same public position if the candidate appears on a non-news broadcast; is considered a "legally qualified" candidate; and other candidates submitting their demands for equal airtime do so within seven days of the original candidate's appearance.

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Since SNL, a high-profile comedy show existing for over three decades, is currently considered a form of entertainment programming as opposed to news, the "equal time" rule could apply.

Following Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's three-minute cameo on the program last week, NBC reportedly issued a memo advising its affiliates to contact network officials if their stations received equal-time demands from any other White House contenders.

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