Television stations in the nation’s largest media markets will begin uploading information on political advertising buys to a new Federal Communications Commission database on Wednesday.
Starting with the television stations in the nation’s 50 largest media markets, broadcasters will be required to update information about which political campaigns have purchased advertising times on a centralized database.
The move represents a major victory for open government groups that have been fighting for more than a decade to get the information contained in television filing cabinets on the Internet.
Only stations of the four major networks – NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox – must submit information. However, cities in the biggest markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are unlikely to see large amounts of political spending since they are in areas that are traditionally not hotly contested areas.