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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. 516 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974)

October 21, 2004
David Fiske at (202) 418-0513

Press Statement of FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell Regarding FCC Enforcement Bureau Consent Decrees on Children's Television Programming Rules for Cable Programmers

Today, the Commission's Enforcement Bureau resolves major investigations regarding our children's programming rules. These important rules, which derive from the Children's Television Act of 1990, place strict limits on the amount of commercial matter that may be aired during children's programming. They apply to television broadcast stations, cable channels, and DBS providers and ensure that our children, who are uniquely vulnerable as viewers, are not exposed to excessive advertisements.

As a result of routine audits conducted by Enforcement Bureau field agents, serious questions arose concerning the amount of commercial matter during children's programs on the ABC Family Channel and Nickelodeon. Both channels are hugely popular with children and are carried on virtually all cable systems nationwide, each reaching in excess of 85 million households.

The consent decrees entered into today will not only help protect children who watch these cable channels, but will have a much broader impact. All cable operators, DBS providers, commercial television broadcasters, and companies that provide children's programming should know that we will vigorously enforce our children's advertising limits. We will continue to take swift and appropriate enforcement action to protect the interests of children.