FCC Proposes Easing Children’s TV Mandates on Broadcasters
The FCC on Thursday introduced a proposal that would eliminate rules that require children’s informational and educational programs be at least 30 minutes or more in length. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says the provision discounts the value of short-form programs, especially for children with short attention spans. He says it would also discourage broadcasters from only airing children’s educational specials, and instead incentivize broadcasters to provide a mix of regularly scheduled weekly programming and specials. In a statement, Pai added that it was “beyond time” to take a look at the rules, noting the changes in the media landscape since the Children’s Television Act was passed in 1990, which 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. “The FCC’s current children’s television rules don’t reflect the vast changes that have revolutionized the video marketplace in recent years. It’s beyond time to take a fresh look at our ‘kidvid’ regulations and explore how they should be modernized,” Pai said. The landscape has changed. YouTube maintains a designated sandbox for kids fare and on-demand and cable services like Netflix and HBO air originals for kids. The agency believes the old rules simply should not apply. More here.