Senator is author of Children’s Television Act


Washington (July 12, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) 3-1 party-line vote to proceed with a rulemaking to change the children’s television educational programming rules, which require free, over-the-air TV broadcasters to air a minimum of three hours of children’s educational programming per week.


In June, Republican Commissioner Michael O’Reilly released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that makes a number of tentative, and harmful conclusions about the so-called “Kid Vid” rules, including, decreasing the amount of educational children’s shows that broadcasters must air, removing the requirement that quality children’s shows are regularly scheduled, and allowing broadcasters to air children’s shows on sparsely-viewed secondary television channels.


“All children, regardless of their zip code or their family’s income, deserve access to educational programming that will help them thrive and grow,” said Senator Markey. “But the FCC’s proposal would make children’s programming harder to find or reduce the amount of programming altogether. We shouldn’t deregulate simply for deregulation’s sake and especially not for rules that impact our nation’s most vulnerable residents, our children.


“I am deeply disappointed that the FCC has moved forward to change these rules without undergoing a thorough fact-gathering process to develop a complete understanding of how these changes will affect children, particularly millions of children from low-income and rural communities. I will continue to fight any reductions to the educational programming that helps nourish the minds of America’s children.”


Last month, Senator Markey urged the FCC to revise its proposed rulemaking on the Kid Vid rules and instead issue a Notice of Inquiry, which would allow for a thorough fact-gathering process to inform any future proposed rule changes. In May, Senator Markey called on the FCC to maintain the children’s television programming rules.