Public TV and radio: the financial conundrum

It costs money to produce programs for public TV and radio. But public broadcasters aren't at liberty to sell advertising the way commercial broadcasters do. Noncommercial broadcasters are bound by FCC underwriting rules, compliance with which is not an easy task.

A lot has changed in this area of the law, since I wrote about then-existing FCC rules back in 1984, in a two-part article titled Producing for Public Television (still available here and here).

David Oxenford, of Davis Wright Tremaine, recently put on a seminar for public broadcasters in Maine and Connecticut, during which he explained the current state of the rules for underwriting noncommercial broadcasts. His seminar slides and related articles are posted on his firm's Broadcast Law Blog. The rules are the same throughout the U.S., so if you or your clients produce for, or are, public broadcasters in the other 48 states, take a look.