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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Proposed Rules Could Affect College Radio and Television Stations

June 28, 2012

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments on its proposed rules which would allow noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcast stations to conduct on-air fundraising activities that interrupt regular radio or television programming for the benefit of third-party non-profit organizations.

Currently, NCE stations are not allowed to conduct fundraising activities that substantially alter regular programming and benefit any entity other than the station itself. FCC staff members occasionally have granted waivers to these rules in extraordinary circumstances, such as a broadcast to raise funds and donations for hurricane relief.

To help broadcasters serve their communities, the FCC proposes to allow NCEs to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of third-party nonprofit organizations. Under the proposed rules, the fundraising activities could not exceed one percent of the station's total airtime

NCEs would be required to file an opt-in notification with the FCC before engaging in fundraising. They would also be required to air disclosures during the fundraising activity, "clearly stating that the fundraiser is not for the benefit of the station itself" and would have to identify the entity "for which it is fundraising and the specific cause, if any, supported by the fundraiser." Stations would have to air those disclosures at the beginning and end of each fundraising program and at least once during each hour of the fundraising program. Lastly, NCEs would have to file an annual report with the FCC describing all fundraising activities.

Comments are due July 23.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst