FCC Proposes $3.4 Million in Fines for Violations of Children’s TV Programming Rules

Posted
on

September
29,
2022

On
September
21,
2022,
the
Federal
Communications
Commission
(“FCC”)

FCC Proposes .4 Million in Fines for Violations of Children’s TV Programming Rules

On
September
21,
2022,
the
Federal
Communications
Commission
(“FCC”)

announced

a
proposed
combined
fine
of
$3.4
million
against
Sinclair
Broadcast
Group,
Nexstar
Media
Group
and
19
other
broadcast
television
licensees
for
violations
of
rules
limiting
commercial
matter
in
children’s
television
programming.

FCC
rules
codified
under
the
Children’s
Television
Act
of
1990
limit
the
amount
of
advertising
that
may
be
aired
during
children’s
programming
to
10.5
minutes
per
hour
on
weekends
and
12
minutes
per
hour
on
weekdays.
 Where
a
program
associated
with
a
product
is
aired
with
commercials
for
that
product,
the
program
is
treated
as
a
program-length
commercial,
where
the
entire
program
counts
as
commercial
time.

The
broadcasters
allegedly
committed
a
willful
and
wanton
violation
of
these
rules
by
repeatedly
airing
a
commercial
for
a
Hot
Wheels-themed
toy
during
a
Hot
Wheels-themed
show.

The
FCC

reasoned

that,
considering
the
“cognitive
abilities
of
young
children,”
mixing
the
Hot
Wheels
commercials
with
content
presented
a
clear
risk
for
confusion
between
program
content
and
commercial
matter
that
the
rules
were
designed
to
avoid.
Separate
statements
were
issued
from

FCC
Chairwoman
Jessica
Rosenworcel

and

Commissioner
Geoffrey
Starks
.

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