FCC Foreign Sponsorship ID Rules In Effect

Posted on March 31st, 2022 by

Despite pending litigation over the legality of the new foreign sponsorship identification rules, the FCC announced that they became effective March 15, 2022.  A court hearing in April will consider whether the new rules impose unnecessary burdens under the First Amendment, but a decision in that case is not expected for several months, and may be appealed.

The new rules require broadcasters to identify sponsors of any block of programming on the station if the sponsor qualifies as a “foreign governmental entity,” which includes governments of foreign countries, foreign political parties, certain agents of foreign principals, and US based foreign media outlets.  That identification must be in the form of an on-air disclosure and a public file disclosure.

We are in the process of notifying clients of their specific obligations under the new rules, and should finish doing so during April.  If you have questions in the interim, please contact us.