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 TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit 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 GrahamEight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden DACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats 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.