This News Release: Text | Word 97
Statements: [ Kennard | Furchtgott-Roth | Tristani ]

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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

September 14, 2000
David Fiske (202) 418-0513


Washington, DC - The FCC today asked for comments on the obligation of DTV broadcasters to provide educational and informational programming for children and the requirement that DTV broadcasters limit the amount of advertising in children's programs.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted today, the Commission asked for comment largely on challenges unique to the digital age but also explored several issues that children's advocates have raised about children's educational and informational programming in general.

Specifically, the Commission asked for comment on:

  • How the children's core educational programming processing guideline should be applied to DTV broadcasters;

  • Whether the guideline should apply only to free broadcast services or also to pay services, and on commenters' views that a three-hour guideline may not be sufficient in light of the additional program capacity made available by digital technology;

  • Whether the Commission's policies regarding preemption of core programs should be revised in view of the greater programming flexibility available to DTV broadcasters;

  • Whether the rules and policies on children's programming advertising limits and policies should apply to both free and pay program streams;

  • How these rules and policies should be interpreted in light of the interactive capabilities made possible by digital technology.

  • Whether the Commission should revise its definition of "commercial matter" to include types of program interruptions that do not currently contribute toward the commercial limits, such as certain program promotions;

  • How to address the issue of the airing in programs viewed by children of promotions for age-inappropriate broadcast, cable or theater movie film content, or other age-inappropriate product promotions that may be unsuitable for children to watch.

  • Action by the Commission September 14, 2000, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC No. 00-344). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness and Powell, with Commissioners Furchtgott-Roth and Tristani each concurring in part and dissenting in part, and Commissioners Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani each issuing a separate statement.

    -FCC -

    MM Docket No. 00-167
    Mass Media Bureau contact: Kim Matthews at (202) 418-2154