FCC Sets Comment Cycle for Political Ad Filing Requirement

The Federal Communications Commission has announced comment dates for its proposal to expand its online public file requirements pertaining to political ads. Comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are due March 16; reply comments are due April 14.  

TV stations had been the only service required to post public inspection files to an FCC-maintained database. The agency had held off extending that requirement, and other public file requirements —like EEO, children's TV and more— to cable and satellite operators, which are all still required to keep those files available for public inspection locally. But the FCC had signaled it was likely to extend the requirement.  

In response to a petition filed by campaign finance reform groups seeking that extended online filing, the commission on Dec. 19 voted unanimously to propose requiring cable and DBS systems and broadcast and satellite radio to post their public files, including political files, in an FCC-administered online database.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.