Goto Section: 73.670 | 73.672 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.671
Revised as of December 7, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 73.671   Educational and informational programming for children.

   (a) Each commercial and noncommercial educational television broadcast
   station licensee has an obligation to serve, over the term of its
   license, the educational and informational needs of children through
   both the licensee's overall programming and programming specifically
   designed to serve such needs.

   (b) Any special nonbroadcast efforts which enhance the value of
   children's educational and informational television programming, and
   any special effort to produce or support educational and informational
   television programming by another station in the licensee's
   marketplace, may also contribute to meeting the licensee's obligation
   to serve, over the term of its license, the educational and
   informational needs of children.

   (c) For purposes of this section, educational and informational
   television programming is any television programming that furthers the
   educational and informational needs of children 16 years of age and
   under in any respect, including the child's intellectual/cognitive or
   social/emotional needs. Programming specifically designed to serve the
   educational and informational needs of children (“Core Programming”) is
   educational and informational programming that satisfies the following
   additional criteria:

   (1) It has serving the educational and informational needs of children
   ages 16 and under as a significant purpose;

   (2) It is aired between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.;

   (3) It is a regularly scheduled weekly program;

   (4) It is at least 30 minutes in length;

   (5) The program is identified as specifically designed to educate and
   inform children by the display on the television screen throughout the
   program of the symbol E/I;

   (6) The educational and informational objective and the target child
   audience are specified in writing in the licensee's Children's
   Television Programming Report, as described in § 73.3526(e)(11)(iii);
   and

   (7) Instructions for listing the program as educational/informational,
   including an indication of the age group for which the program is
   intended, are provided by the licensee to publishers of program guides,
   as described in § 73.673.

   (d) [Reserved]

   (e) The Commission will apply the following processing guideline to
   digital stations in assessing whether a television broadcast licensee
   has complied with the Children's Television Act of 1990 (“CTA”) on its
   digital channel(s).

   (1) A digital television licensee providing only one stream of free
   digital video programming will be subject to the 3 hour/week Core
   Programming processing guideline discussed in paragraph (d) of this
   section on that channel; i.e., a licensee that has aired at least three
   hours per week of Core Programming (as defined in paragraph (c) of this
   section and as averaged over a six month period) on its main program
   stream will be deemed to have satisfied its obligation to air such
   programming and shall have the CTA portion of its license renewal
   application approved by the Commission staff. A licensee will also be
   deemed to have satisfied this obligation and be eligible for such staff
   approval if the licensee demonstrates that it has aired a package of
   different types of educational and informational programming that,
   while containing somewhat less than three hours per week of Core
   Programming, demonstrates a level of commitment to educating and
   informing children that is at least equivalent to airing three hours
   per week of Core Programming. In this regard, specials, PSAs,
   short-form programs, and regularly scheduled non-weekly programs with a
   significant purpose of educating and informing children can count
   toward the three hour per week processing guideline. Licensees that do
   not meet these processing guidelines will be referred to the
   Commission, where they will have full opportunity to demonstrate
   compliance with the CTA (e.g., by relying in part on sponsorship of
   Core educational/informational programs on other stations in the market
   that increases the amount of Core educational and informational
   programming on the station airing the sponsored program and/or on
   special nonbroadcast efforts which enhance the value of children's
   educational and informational television programming).

   (2)(i) A digital television licensee providing streams of free digital
   video programming in addition to its main program stream will be
   subject to the processing guideline described in paragraph (e)(1) of
   this section on its main program stream and to the following guideline
   applied to the additional programming: 1⁄2 hour per week of additional
   Core Programming (as defined in paragraph (c) of this section and as
   averaged over a six month period) for every increment of 1 to 28 hours
   of free video programming provided in addition to the main program
   stream. Thus, digital broadcasters providing between 1 and 28 hours per
   week of free video programming in addition to their main program stream
   will have a guideline of 1⁄2 hour per week of core programming in
   addition to the 3 hours per week on the main program stream. Digital
   broadcasters providing between 29 and 56 hours per week of free video
   programming in addition to their main program stream will have a
   guideline of 1 hour per week of core programming in addition to the 3
   hours per week on the main program stream. Digital broadcasters
   providing between 57 and 84 hours per week of free video programming in
   addition to their main program stream will have a guideline of 11⁄2
   hours per week of core programming in addition to the 3 hours per week
   on the main program stream. The guideline will continue to increase in
   this manner for additional hours of free video programming.

   (ii) Broadcasters providing more than one stream of free digital video
   programming may air all of their additional core programming, apart
   from the 3 hours of core programming that must be aired on the main
   program stream, on one free video channel, or distribute it across
   multiple free video channels, at their discretion, as long as the
   stream on which the core programming is aired has comparable MVPD
   carriage as the stream whose programming generates the core programming
   obligation under the processing guideline described in paragraph
   (e)(2)(i) of this section.

   (3) For purposes of the guideline described in paragraph (e)(2) of this
   section, at least 50 percent of the core programming counted toward
   meeting the additional programming guideline cannot consist of program
   episodes that had already aired within the previous seven days on
   either the station's main program stream or on another of the station's
   free digital program streams. This requirement does not apply to any
   program stream that merely time shifts the entire programming line-up
   of another program stream and, during the digital transition, to core
   programs aired on both the analog station and a digital program stream.

   Note 1 to § 73.671: For purposes of determining under this section
   whether programming has a significant purpose of serving the
   educational and informational needs of children, the Commission will
   ordinarily rely on the good faith judgments of the licensee. Commission
   review of compliance with that element of the definition will be done
   only as a last resort.

   [ 56 FR 19616 , Apr. 29, 1991. Redesignated at  56 FR 28825 , June 25,
   1991, as amended at  61 FR 43997 , Aug. 27, 1996;  70 FR 37 , Jan. 3, 2005;
    71 FR 64165 , Nov. 1, 2006;  83 FR 5544 , Feb. 8, 2018]

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Goto Section: 73.670 | 73.672

Goto Year: 2018 | 2020
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