FCC Says Broadcast Contest Rules Can Be Posted Online

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules that allow broadcasters to disclose contest rules online as an alternative to broadcasting them over the air. Adopted in 1976, the Contest Rule requires broadcasters to disclose important contest information fully and accurately, and to conduct contests substantially as announced.

The rule change preserves the informational requirements, but modernizes how broadcast stations can meet their disclosure obligation by announcing their contest terms over the air or by posting that information online. The order also adopted related implementing rules, including the requirement that broadcasters periodically announce over-the-air the Website address where their contest rules can be found.

The National Association of Broadcasters released a statement saying it was all good.

“NAB applauds the FCC for updating its contest rules to better reflect today’s media environment. Providing flexibility about where and how contest rules can be posted online allows broadcasters to best serve our audiences based on the wide variety of contests we run. NAB looks forward to working collaboratively with the FCC to help radio and TV stations adhere to these revised rules.”

The FCC began this rulemaking in response to the dramatic changes that have occurred in the way Americans obtain information since the Contest Rule was adopted almost four decades ago. The rule changes give broadcast stations more flexibility in the way they comply with the Contest Rule, and give consumers a more convenient way to obtain contest information normally aired through television and radio advertisements.