Annual Children’s TV Report and Commercial Limits Certifications Due in January

Posted on November 30th, 2021 by

In January 2022, commercial full power and Class-A TV stations will have to prepare and file children’s television reports for 2021 and upload children’s television commercial limits certifications to their public file for 2021.  The actual deadline is January 30, 2022 (which lands on a Sunday so it will roll to January 31, 2022 under the FCC’s rules).  The form can be loaded and worked on now in LMS, but filing of the form will not be enabled until January 1.  Failure to timely file the report can result in fines during license renewal.

Commercial limits compliance is an ongoing requirement, but is documented once annually by stations and uploaded to the station online public file.  Stations should conduct detailed reviews of their compliance for the year before uploading documents in support.  The FCC’s rules require that stations limit the amount of “commercial matter” appearing in programs aimed at children 12 years old and younger to 12 minutes per clock hour on weekdays and 10.5 minutes per clock hour on the weekend.  The definition of commercial matter includes not only commercial spots, but also (i) website addresses displayed during children’s programming and promotional material, unless they comply with a four-part test, (ii) websites that are considered “host-selling” under the Commission’s rules, and (iii) program promos, unless they promote (a) children’s educational/informational programming, or (b) other age-appropriate programming appearing on the same channel.