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WASHINGTON — The FCC took the first step toward easing rules on the amount and type of children programming that broadcasters must provide to maintain their licenses, a move that has drawn criticism from Democrats on Capitol Hill and from some parents groups.
The proposal — which will now be put up for a period of public comment — will eliminate rules that require that informational and educational programs be 30 minutes or more in length, and that they be regularly scheduled. But critics say that the proposals risk watering down the mandate that stations devote a set number of hours to quality children’s programming.
FCC - Chairman - Ajit - Pai - Time
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that it was “beyond time” to take a look at the rules, noting the huge changes in the media landscape since the Children’s Television Act was passed in 1990. That mandated restrictions on the amount of time that broadcasters could devote to advertising during children’s programming, and that stations serve the educational and informational needs of kids.
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who has been spearheading the revision of the rules, said that the current requirements do not make sense in a landscape where so many children use DVRs and watch on demand. He also has noted that there has been a proliferation of programming via cable and satellite platforms and internet streaming.
Year - Anything - Market - Children - Programming
He wrote earlier this year that “it is hard to conclude anything other than the market for children’s programming is booming.”
“With today’s dynamic media marketplace there are very little, if any, additional benefits provided by the Kid Vid rules,” he wrote.
Thursday - Meeting - Requirements - Broadcasters - Newscasts
At the Thursday meeting, he said that the requirements have been so onerous on broadcasters that some have “foregone local newscasts and public affairs programming and live events on Saturday morning.”
The FCC in 1996 adopted a specific requirement that stations air at least...
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