Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: underwriting spots on noncommercial stations

Remember FCC Rules on Underwriting Limitations – And that They Don’t Apply to Spots Bought By Nonprofit Entities

Posted in Advertising Issues, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Last week, the FCC reached a consent decree with a noncommercial broadcaster, where the broadcaster paid an $8000 penalty for, among other things, running underwriting spots that were too promotional. While the consent decree and its implementing order provide no details on the underwriting violations by the broadcaster, we can assume that the broadcaster ran… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Upholds Communications Act Ban on Commercial and Political Advertising on Public TV Stations – Significant Analysis of the Standards for First Amendment Review of all Broadcast Regulation

Posted in Advertising Issues, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting
Section 399b of the Communications Act bans advertising for for-profit companies, as well as political and issue advertising, on noncommercial radio and television stations.  While Congress over 20 years ago loosened some restrictions on fundraising by allowing paid ads by nonprofit groups on noncommercial stations, and permitting commercial entities to provide some minimal information about… Continue Reading

$3000 Fine Against Noncommercial Station for Underwriting Violations – With Discussion of PSAs as Public Interest Programming and Cigarette Ads in Classic Radio Program

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In a decision granting the license renewal of a noncommercial radio station, the FCC’s Media Bureau addressed a number of interesting issues – including the requirements for noncommercial underwriting announcements, whether PSAs meet a station’s public service obligations, and the ability of stations to run cigarette ads in historical radio programs from early radio days. These issues all came up… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes to Liberalize Rules Against Noncommercial Stations Fundraising For Third-Party Non-Profit Groups

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking suggesting, with significant limitations, a liberalization of its rules that prohibit noncommercial broadcasters from raising funds for an entity other than the station itself if the fundraising suspends or alters normal programming of the station. As we’ve written before, the FCC prohibits noncommercial broadcasters from raising funds… Continue Reading

Financial Challenges to Noncommercial Broadcast Funding – What Is the FCC Doing?

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
As Federal funding to public broadcasters faces serious challenge in a Washington looking to cut the budget for all but the most essential government services, and where voluntary contributions to all noncommercial broadcasters have been constrained by the economic issues faced by the entire nation, more and more noncommercial broadcasters are facing tough questions about… Continue Reading

When Can Underwriting Announcements Be Run on Noncommercial Radio and TV Stations?

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
The question has recently arisen as to when underwriting announcements can be aired on noncommercial radio and TV stations.  The New York Times recently quoted me on the subject in an article discussing the plans of PBS to experiment with putting underwriting announcements in programming, rather than merely in the breaks between the end of… Continue Reading

FCC Underwriting Rules for Noncommercial Radio and TV – A Seminar on the Issues

Posted in Appearances, FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Fines for noncommercial broadcasters who air acknowledgments of their donors and contributors that sound too much like commercials have been a problem area for many noncommercial educational radio and television stations, and have resulted in significant fines from the FCC.  The FCC allows "enhanced underwriting announcements" that identify a sponsor, what their business is, and where… Continue Reading

FCC Fines for Noncommercial Stations Having Underwriting Announcements That Were Too Commercial – Even Where the Station Received No Money

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
Last week, the FCC issued several fines to noncommercial broadcasters who had underwriting announcements that sounded too commercial.  In these decisions, the Commission found that the stations had broadcast promotional announcements for commercial businesses – and those announcements did not conform to the FCC’s rules requiring that announcements acknowledging contributions to noncommercial stations cannot contain qualitative claims… Continue Reading