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Four 2016 candidates got free ad time during 'The National Dog Show'

Four 2016 candidates got free ad time during 'The National Dog Show'
© NBC

Much of the free advertising time NBC gave to Republican presidential candidates to satisfy equal opportunity rules after Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE's "Saturday Night Live" appearance came during a rerun of "The National Dog Show" last month. 

Ad time also came during "Dateline" and another episode of "SNL."  

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According to NBC broadcast disclosures filed over the weekend, NBC satisfied equal opportunity requests from four candidates by giving them 25 ad slots each on 18 broadcast stations in the early-nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. 

The ads ran from Nov. 27 to Nov. 29 in prime-time slots. Four low-polling GOP presidential candidates — former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE (R-S.C.), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — took the ad time in a deal with NBC. 

The deal was struck because Trump's "SNL" appearance last month triggered Federal Communications Commission equal opportunity rules. 

The rules require stations that feature a presidential candidate in their broadcast to disclose details of the appearance. Other qualified candidates can petition to get an equal amount of time on the air, with broad exceptions for news shows or interviews. 

Each of the four candidates got eight 30-second ads during a rerun of the dog show in which a Skye terrier named Good Time Charlie won. The show originally aired on a Thursday, but the ads came during a rebroadcast the next day. 

Each candidate also got about eight spots on Friday and Saturday episodes of "Dateline." The candidates also received four spots during an "SNL" rerun Nov. 28.