Children's advocacy groups to FCC: proposed deregulation of children's TV rules could spell the end of children's programming on broadcast TV

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The Center for Digital Democracy, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, and the Benton Foundation told the Federal Communications Commission that if the agency proceeds with its proposed deregulation of children's TV rules, it could spell the end of children's programming on broadcast TV. "The FCC’s assumption that children’s television guidelines are no longer necessary because programming is available on other platforms is simply wrong," the groups told the FCC. "To obtain access to non-broadcast programming, households must have access to cable or broadband service, and be able to afford subscription fees and equipment. Many families, especially low-income families and families in rural areas, cannot access or afford alternative program options." 

"Only children’s programs on broadcast and cable are subject to advertising limits and policies prohibiting deceptive and unfair advertising practices such as host-selling, and only television broadcasters are mandated to provide programming specifically designed to educate and inform children." By contrast, online offerings are for the most part “program-length commercials and 'native' ads designed specifically to promote and sell toys, fast-food and other products." The groups also cite the privacy drawbacks of relying on over-the-top. "[T]he NPRM fails to address the problem that children watching videos on YouTube, on mobile apps, and even on premium OTT [over-the-top] services, are subjected to invasive data collection, profiling and interactive ad targeting practices."

Kids TV Groups to FCC: OTT is No Substitute for Broadcast Kids Fare