URCA Issues Notice Re: Political Broadcasts and Advertising

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016 the Commonwealth of The Bahamas will hold a National Referendum. The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) hereby reminds its Licensees providing audiovisual media services, including broadcasting, (Licensees) of the provisions of Part 6 of the Code of Practice for Content Regulation (ECS06/2012) (the Code) relating to Political Broadcasts and Political Advertisements and the Licensees’ obligation to comply with the provisions of the Code. Part 6 of the Code sets the standards that are applicable to the broadcast of political advertisements and election programmes not only preceding to and during the course of a parliamentary general election but also preceding to and during a referendum.

URCA reminds its Licensees, in particular, that they are not permitted under the Code, to broadcast any political material on polling day until after the close of the poll. Additionally, Licensees are required to disclose to the public the name and political affiliation of any paid political broadcast aired outside of the election period and prior to polling day. URCA urges its Licensees to review Part 6 of the Code to ensure compliance thereto.