The first issue on the FCC’s Open Commission meeting on Sept. 17 was approved without hitch or debate – one of the few issues this strongly bipartisan commission has unanimously agreed upon.
On Thursday morning the FCC issued a Report and Order to modernize the existing broadcast contest rules, which have been in place since 1976. Those rules require broadcasters to fully disclose — over the air in their entirety — the specific terms of any contest the station was running.
The Report and Order approved today altered those disclosure regulations by allowing stations to also disclose contest rules via a station website. Under the revised rules, stations will be required to broadcast this Website address periodically and in a way that allows a consumer to easily to find contest information. Complete contest information must be maintained online for at least 30 days after the contest has concluded.
The changes are designed to preserve the core principles of the original rule, while simultaneously giving stations more flexibility and offering the public improved access to contest information.
“This is a good example of how the commission can make sure that our rules reflect the modern marketplace,” FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said during the meeting. (Read more about what the commissioners had to say.)
The NAB agrees. “Providing flexibility about where and how contest rules can be posted online allows broadcasters to best serve our audiences based on the wide variety of contests we run,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton in a statement.