July 4, 2022

Volume XII, Number 185

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July 01, 2022

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FCC Rules Requiring Broadcasters To Disclose Foreign-Sponsored Programming Become Effective

The FCC has announced the effectiveness of rules that will now require broadcasters to disclose when foreign governments or their representatives lease time on their airwaves for programming, including advertisements.

These rules require on-air disclosure when broadcast programming (aired through a leased airtime agreement) is sponsored by:

  • A foreign government

  • A foreign political party

  • An agent acting on behalf of such entities, or 

  • A US-based foreign media outlet based on definitions drawn from the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 and the Communications Act of 1934.

In announcing the effectiveness of these rules (which were originally adopted last year – see here), FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated:

“In light of recent events, this effort—which is all about transparency— has taken on new importance. It is essential that audiences know when a broadcast station has been compensated to air content coming from a foreign government.”

The future of these rules may be impacted by a pending appeal filed by the National Association of Broadcasters and others, but until then, these rules are effective immediately for new leasing agreements, and for existing agreements will need to be implemented within six months from the Federal Register publication date.

© 2022 ArentFox Schiff LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 91
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About this Author

Jeffrey E. Rummel Washington D.C. Communcations Technology Law Partner Arentfox Schiff LLP
Partner and Communications & Technology Practice Leader

Jeff leads the firm's Communications & Technology practice. His focus includes the federal and state courts and state public utility commissions. Jeff is also a member of the firm’s National Security group.

202-715-8479
Alan G. Fishel Washington D.C. Partner Communications Technology Corporate Law ArentFox Schiff LLP
Partner

Alan is a member of the firm’s Communications & Technology, Corporate & Securities, and Privacy, Cybersecurity & Data Protection groups.

Alan handles transactional matters relating to technology and telecommunications agreements, including cloud service agreements, professional service agreements, hardware agreements, colocation agreements, service level agreements, manufacturing agreements, dark fiber agreements, and in-building wireless agreements. He also drafts and negotiates a wide variety of agreements in other areas as well....

202-857-6450
Adam D. Bowser Litigation TCPA Communications Telecom Law Partner Arentfox Schiff LLP
Partner

Adam’s practice focuses on complex litigation in federal and state courts, including class action trials and appeals, as well as related advocacy before administrative agencies in rulemaking and enforcement proceedings. He has been recognized as a Washington, DC Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Communications Law every year since 2014 and he has recently won several notable victories for clients brought into class-action litigation arising out of consumer protection and privacy laws, particularly the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). As part of his deep expertise...

202-857-6126
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