FCC Asks for Input on Content Ratings for Television Commercials

On March 3rd, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding a report it is required to submit to Congress by August under the Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007 on content blocking technologies available to parents on various communication platforms.  In the NOI, the FCC asked for input on whether television commercials should be included under the current ratings program.  Commercials are not currently rated under the TV guidelines.  However, the FCC and consumer groups have raised concerns over violent and sexual content in commercials.  By placing them under the ratings system, it would allow commercials with "inappropriate" content to be blocked by the v-chip or other blocking technologies. 

Comments are due on April 16, 2009 with reply comments due May 18, 2009.  While proposals for commercial ratings have been floated in the past, this is the first formal consideration by a regulatory agency that we are aware of concerning this important and controversial issue. 

We are likely to submit a filing on this issue and would appreciate your help.  If you have any input you wish to share, or any questions in regard to the NOI, please contact Dan Jaffe in ANA's Washington office at 202-206-2359 or at djaffe@ana.net.