The FCC gave a present to TV broadcasters at the end of the week before Christmas by issuing a Public Notice announcing the effective date of the remaining changes to the children’s television rules, and postponing the filing date for the initial Children’s Television Programming Report, which was to be filed by January 30, to March 30. This will give broadcasters more time to become familiar with the new report. The annual Children’s Programming Report takes the place of the Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports, and are designed to report on the educational and informational “core programming” broadcast by a television station to meet its obligations for such programming. Also announced in the Public Notice is an FCC webinar on January 23 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm ET to review the new form.
Other provisions of the rule that became effective following the pre-Christmas publication in the Federal Register of the approval of the rule changes by the Office of Management and Budget (following the required review under the Paperwork Reduction Act of the changes in the paperwork burdens imposed by the modifications of the rules) include the following:
- The elimination of the requirement for noncommercial stations to display the E/I symbol during core programming (retaining the requirement for commercial TV stations);
- The elimination of the requirement to provide publishers of program guides the age group for which each core program is intended;
- The revision of the rescheduling and viewer notification rules for core programming that is preempted;
- The adoption of revised reporting periods for children’s TV commercial limit certifications from quarterly to annually (the last quarterly certification being due in stations’ public files by January 10 for the last quarter of 2019 – with the first annual certification for 2020 being due by January 30, 2021).
- The elimination of the requirement to publicize the existence and location of a station’s Children’s Television Programming Report.
These changes follow the FCC order this summer adopting the new rules, and prior public notice on the effective date of the Annual Children’s Programming Report. See our posts here and here. Be sure to note these changes in your operations.