The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on proposed changes to television rules in the U.S. requiring free-to-air broadcasters to air some educational/informational content for children.
The rules were instituted as part of the Children’s Television Act in 1996. “There have been dramatic changes in the video programming marketplace since the FCC first adopted its children’s programming rules over 20 years ago,” the FCC says. “For example, live TV viewing has declined as more consumers watch video programming using DVRs and video on demand. There is also now a vast array of children’s programming available from non-broadcast outlets such as cable networks, over-the-top providers, and internet sites, as well as a proliferation of educational children’s content from non-commercial broadcast stations.”
The FCC is seeking comment on prosed changes to the criteria kids’ content must meet to be considered “Core Programming,” including the 30-minute required length and regularly scheduled broadcast. It is also seeking comment on whether the three-hours-per week mandate is required. The regulator is also looking at creating a framework that would a allow broadcasters to satisfy their children’s programming obligations by relying in part on “special sponsorship efforts and/or special nonbroadcast efforts.”