Can’t Contest Rules Be Online?

Can’t stations post contest rules online instead of having to air long announcements about them?

Entercom thinks so and has told the FCC most people access the Internet now and changing the contest rule would remove “undesirable program content” from the airwaves.

NAB agrees with the broadcaster. In support of Entercom’s petition to the FCC to change the requirement, NAB says back in 1976 when the agency determined that stations had to air all contest rules, “there were no fax machines, no email, no Internet, no personal computers, no smart phones and no convenient way to communicate contest terms to broadcast audiences other than on-air.”

The audience today expects communication to be concise and brief, and will go to another medium if their expectations are not met, notes the broadcast lobby.

“Reading detailed contest terms on air interrupts radio programming and can drive listeners away. It is also unnecessary, given other communication options today,” says NAB, which characterizes the Internet as a more user-friendly way for consumers to access contest rules. Some 90 percent of all AM/FM commercial stations have a website, according to BIA.

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