FCC To Vote July 10th On Relaxing Children’s Television Rules

Posted on June 28th, 2019 by

At its July 10, 2019 meeting, the FCC will vote on adopting a proposed Report & Order making significant changes to the existing children’s television requirements for television stations.

Perhaps the most significant change in the draft order is to eliminate the requirement that stations include 3 hours of CORE children’s programming on each 24-hour multicast channel broadcast by the station. Stations will only need the programming on the main channel, not on digital subchannels. The current 3 hours is an “average weekly” requirement, but if the order is adopted as proposed that will change to quarterly/annual amount that equals 156 annual hours.

Also, instead of having to file the Form 398 Children’s Television Report every quarter, stations would only have to do so once a year (by January 30th of the following year). The now quarterly public file certification of compliance with limits on ads in children’s advertising would also change to an annual requirement (by January 30th of the following year).

Although the order will likely be adopted on July 10th, the effective date of the rules will take some time and be accompanied by a public notice providing guidance to stations. So don’t decide to skip your 2nd quarter 2019 Form 398 and children’s commercial limits certifications that must be filed by July 10, 2019.