FCC PROPOSES TO UPDATE CHILDREN’S TV PROGRAMMING RULES, PROVIDE BROADCASTERS INCREASED FLEXIBILITY
The FCC voted last week to adopt the NPRM aimed at updating its Children’s Television regulations. Commissioner Rosenworcel dissented, saying an update of the rules is appropriate, but that she disagreed with the majority’s specific proposals in the NPRM text.
From the FCC:
WASHINGTON, July 12, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission today launched a
proceeding to seek comment on proposed revisions to the children’s television programming
rules. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking recommends modifying outdated rules adopted in
1996 pursuant to the Children’s Television Act.
There have been dramatic changes in the video programming marketplace since the FCC first
adopted its children’s programming rules over 20 years ago. For example, live TV viewing has
declined as more consumers watch video programming using DVRs and video on demand.
There is also now a vast array of children’s programming available from non-broadcast outlets
such as cable networks, over-the-top providers, and Internet sites, as well as a proliferation of
educational children’s content from non-commercial broadcast stations.
The NPRM seeks input on proposed changes to the criteria that children’s programming must
meet to be considered Core Programming, which among other things currently require that
programming be at least 30 minutes in length and regularly scheduled. Additionally, it asks
whether to update the three-hour per week processing guideline used in determining
compliance with the children’s programming rules and seeks comment on ways to streamline
It also proposes creating a framework under which broadcasters could satisfy their children’s
programming obligations by relying in part on special sponsorship efforts and/or special nonbroadcast
efforts. Finally, the rulemaking proposes allowing multicasting stations to choose on
which of their free over-the-air streams to air their required Core Programming hours.
Today’s proceeding is the twelfth in the Commission’s ongoing effort to modernize its rules by
eliminating or modifying regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome.
Action by the Commission July 12, 2018 by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 18-93).
Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, and Carr approving. Commissioner Rosenworcel
dissenting. Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, and Rosenworcel issuing separate