November 27, 2022

Volume XII, Number 331

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FCC Proposes $3.4 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.

Copyright © 2022, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 272
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About this Author

In today’s digital economy, companies face unprecedented challenges in managing privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information about their customers and employees. The complex framework of global legal requirements impacting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information makes it imperative that modern businesses have a sophisticated understanding of the issues if they want to effectively compete in today’s economy.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s privacy and cybersecurity practice helps companies manage data and...

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