Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

2014 first-quarter children’s television programming documentation

By Lauren Lynch Flick and Scott R Flick

The next Children’s Television Programming Report must be filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and placed in stations’ public inspection files by 10 April 2014, reflecting programming aired during the months of January, February and March 2014.

As a result of the Children’s Television Act of 1990 and the FCC rules adopted under the act, full-power and Class-A television stations are required, among other things, to: (1) limit the amount of commercial matter aired during programmes originally produced and broadcast for an audience of children 12 years of age and under; and (2) air programming responsive to the educational and informational needs of children 16 years of age and under.

These two obligations, in turn, require broadcasters to comply with two paperwork requirements. Specifically, stations must: (1) place in their online public inspection file one of four prescribed types of documentation demonstrating compliance with the commercial limits in children’s television; and (2) complete FCC Form 398, which requests information regarding the educational and informational programming the station has aired for children 16 years of age and under. Form 398 must be filed electronically with the FCC. The FCC automatically places the electronically filed Form 398 filings into the respective station’s online public inspection file. However, each station should confirm that has occurred to ensure that its online public inspection file is complete. The base forfeiture for non-compliance with the requirements of the FCC’s Children’s Television Programming Rule is $10,000…

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