FCC report determines stations violate kids’ television law
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass) released an FCC report in late February showing that 84 television stations have been fined up to $125,000 since 1992 for exceeding the advertising limit established by the Children’s Television Act.
The Children’s Television Act of 1990 provides that television stations may not broadcast more than 10.5 minutes of commercials per hour during weekend children’s programming and 12.5 minutes of advertisements per hour on weekdays.
The FCC imposed its largest fine on KTTU-TV in Tuscon, Ariz. The station was fined a total of $125,000 for 581 “overages.”
Markey asked FCC Chairman William Kennard to consider increasing fines, which have ranged mostly between $10,000 and $20,000. Markey has asked Kennard to respond by mid-March to his proposal.
According to National Association of Broadcasters’ spokesman Dennis Wharton, many violations “were so insignificant as to warrant no action. The others were voluntarily reported to the FCC over a five-year period, and there’s no indication they were anything other than inadvertent,” Wharton told Broadcasting and Cable magazine.