Press Release: 2019-07-11
Senator Markey Decries FCC Vote to Weaken Children’s Educational Television Programming Rules
Washington (July 10, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and author of the Children’s Television Act, released the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on partisan lines to weaken the “Kid Vid” rules, which ensure access to children’s education programming on over-the-air broadcast television, in accordance with the Children’s Television Act. Today, FCC Republicans voted to allow broadcasters to move a third of required educational content to secondary “multicast” stations, which receive far less viewership than the primary stations where this programming was previously required to air.
“Thanks to strong children’s television rules, kids of all background have for years accessed the nourishing programming that they need to thrive and grow. In an era in which children increasingly come in contact with low-quality, inappropriate, and even harmful content, these rules have ensured children, especially in low-income and minority communities, have access to enriching and educational shows,”said Senator Markey.
“Today’s FCC decision sacrifices children’s education and well-being all for corporate profit under the guise of flexibility. Promoting the public good and serving kids should not fall by the wayside for the sake of increased business revenue. While the Commission’s final rule change did not completely dismantle children’s television as originally proposed, it clearly put the interests of companies ahead of our kids. Low-income and minority communities will be hit the hardest by these changes as children in these families disproportionally rely on broadcast television.
“In this media-soaked world, we should be taking steps to increase—not limit—quality children’s programming and our kids’ chances for success. We can, and should, do better by those who will lead our future.”
After the FCC released its revised proposal, Senator led his colleagues in a letter calling on the Commission to maintain essential elements of the “Kid Vid” rules. In December 2018, Senator Markey called wrote to the FCC to press the need to preserve existing rules requiring broadcasters to air three hours of regularly scheduled educational children’s programming a week on their primary stations.