December 25, 2000

The FCC reported that commercial television licensees have made many efforts to comply with the scheduling and promotional rules for children's educational and informational programming and are complying with the three-hour core programming guideline established in the 1996 Children's Television Report and Order.

The FCC released a report on its three-year review (1997-1999) of the quarterly Children's Television Programming Reports (FCC Form 398) that commercial licensees are required to file with the Commission. The Commission used a sample of 130 commercial television stations, more than 10% of all commercial stations, that included affiliates of ABC, CBC, Fox, NBC, PaxTV, UPN, WB, religious broadcasters, such as Trinity Broadcasting Network, Univision, Telemundo, and other independent, unaffiliated networks.

Core Programming: The Report said the average amount of core children's TV programming (defined as specifically designed with a significant purpose to meet the educational and informational needs of children's ages 16 and under) aired by commercial broadcasters is approximately four hours per week. It said that more than one-half of commercial stations air three or three and one-half hours, but some stations, including independents, religious broadcasters and UPN affiliates air nearly twice that much. Most core programs reported were 30 minutes in length. Under the rules, core programs must be at least 30 minutes long and aired between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM.

Preemption: The Report said the average preemption rate for all stations for core programming is 5.4%. Preemptions for affiliates of the three largest networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) are higher (approximately 9.8%), generally due to network coverage of national sporting events, with preemptions occurring twice as often (16%) in the West as in the East (5%).

Public Information Initiatives: The Report found that virtually all sampled stations reported supplying program guides with information identifying each core program aired on its station, including an indication of the target child audience. It also found that stations were complying with FCC requirements to identify each core program at the beginning of the airing of each program, and to publicize the existence and location of the station's Children's Television Programming reports

The text of the full report, "Three Year Review of the Implementation of the Children's Television Rules and Guidelines 1997-1999" is available on the FCC website



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