2 Big Wins for TV at the FCC

Rick Kaplan, NAB’s Executive VP of Strategic Planning, reports that the FCC voted to approve two significant orders at their Open Meeting July 10th that will benefit TV Broadcasters.

First, the FCC voted to modernize its Children’s Television Programming Rules. The revised rules will require broadcasters to air 156 hours on an annual basis (the equivalent of 3 hours per week) and will no longer require broadcasters to air an additional 3 hours per week for every multicast channel. Further, the Order provides increased flexibility in scheduling and airing this programming, including allowing up to 1/3 of the programming to air on a multicast channel, and up to 1/3 to be non-regularly scheduled and short-form on the main channel. The Commission also agreed to reduce reporting burdens on broadcasters, as you will now submit a streamlined annual compliance report.

Second, the FCC approved modernizing its Carriage Election Notice Rules. Broadcasters will no longer need to send via certified mail to each cable system and satellite provider a copy of their elections every three years. While broadcasters will continue to be required to place a copy of their election(s) in their online public file every three years, broadcasters will only need to send notices, which will be by email, to a cable operator and/or satellite provider in the case that the broadcaster wishes to change its election from must-carry to retrans or vice versa.

As per usual process, the FCC has not yet released the final text of the orders. NAB will be reviewing the Orders once they are released to the public, and we will follow up with additional details about the revised rules, if necessary. We will also keep your stations up-to-date on news about the effective dates for these rule changes.

Rick Kaplan, NAB Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning