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FCC modernizes broadcast contest rules to support online disclosure

September 17, 2015

As we anticipated in our most recent posting, the Federal Communication Commission this morning made a substantial change to its Contest Rules.
In a press release today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the adoption of new Broadcast Contest Rules “that allow broadcasters to disclose contest rules online as an alternative to broadcasting them over the air.” This newest ruling by the FCC seeks to modernize the Broadcast Contest Rules and reflects the “dramatic changes that have occurred in the way Americans obtain information,” since the original Broadcast Rules were adopted almost 40 years ago. The FCC has stated this new rule serves as a flexible alternative to the existing rule and broadcasters are still able to disclose rules in the traditional manner by broadcasting contest rules over the air.

This is a significant change in the Contest Rules that were prepared in 1976 and could well lead to similar changes in other federal and state regulations pertaining to sweepstakes and contests.

Attached is a link to the FCC Press Release


These should provide additional legal and layperson insight on the change that was adopted today.

Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Statement:                     https://www.fcc.gov/article/doc-335340a2
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s Statement:      https://www.fcc.gov/article/doc-335340a3
Commissioner Ajit Pai’s Statement:                         https://www.fcc.gov/article/doc-335340a4
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s Statement:      https://www.fcc.gov/article/doc-335340a5

This post was written by retired Thompson Coburn partner Dale Joerling. If you have any questions about the topics discussed in this post, please contact Thompson Coburn partner Hap Burke.