Deadline For Revised Annual Children’s Television Report Extended to July 10

Posted on March 30th, 2020 by

As mentioned earlier in this newsletter, all commercial full power and Class A digital television stations now have until July 10, 2020 to file the new Children’s Television Report in LMS.  The FCC extended the deadline due to the coronavirus.  For those that filed the report before the previously extended March 30 deadline, good for you but please do read the rest of this article to be sure that your filed report doesn’t contain a popular error.

As a reminder, this first “annual” children’s television report only covers the period from September 16 – December 31, 2019, so “zeros” should be used for Q1 and Q2 in the report because stations previously filed those quarterly reports in 2019.

For Q3, the only time period covered by this report is September 16-30, 2019 and stations should put in the total of core programming aired during those two weeks.  For Q4, the thirteen-week period from October 1 – December 1, 2019 is covered, and the total hours of core programming aired during those weeks should be entered.

A common error we are seeing in filed reports is that stations are reporting average number of hours aired each week instead of actual total number of hours aired.  The new rules require stations to air at least a total of 156 hours of core children’s programming each year, or 39 hours per quarter.  Thirty-nine hours computes to 3 hours for each of the 13 weeks in each quarter.  So, if you’re airing 3 hours a week, you are meeting the required minimum.  But be sure to report it that way.  For the last two weeks of Q3 2019, the reported number should be at least 6 hours to meet the minimum requirement.  For Q4 2019, the reported total number of core programming hours should be at least 39 hours to meet the minimum requirement.

Remember, stations are no longer required to air three hours per week of children’s educational and informational programming on each multicast channel, so that significantly reduces the number of core children’s programming overall.  The only time such programming will occur on multicast channels is if a station decides to shift up to 13 hours per quarter of such programming from its main to a multicast channel.