According to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, the FCC voted 3-1 to revamp the Children’s television rules.
The FCC is proposing to eliminate the requirements that mandatory children’s educational and informational programming be at least a half-hour long and regularly scheduled, that it must air on a TV stations primary channel and that TV stations must file quarterly children’s TV reports, instead proposing annual filings as sufficient. The proposal also allows broadcasters to satisfy the children’s programming obligations through sponsorship or other ‘non-broadcast’ efforts. The revision also applies to other elements of the children’s rules, including limitations on preemptions and whether to update the three-hour per week processing guideline used in determining compliance with the children’s programming rules.
Chairman Pai’s office released a statement after the vote: “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.”