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Special Report: NATPE – FCC – Friendly Programs Are Finding A New Market

With the continuing demands from the FCC and its pressure on children's television programmers and broadcasters, many in the industry are actively promoting FCC-friendly shows. Some see it as an added marketing bonus. But, the bottom line for programmers is ratings...
January 1, 1996

With the continuing demands from the FCC and its pressure on children’s television programmers and broadcasters, many in the industry are actively promoting FCC-friendly shows. Some see it as an added marketing bonus. But, the bottom line for programmers is ratings and advertising dollars.

Peter Schmid, Saban Entertainment

‘It really depends on the time of day you’re talking about and how the winds in Washington are blowing. You know we have always produced FCC-friendly programs. And we find that obviously the stations need these for their license. We really have no problems in selling these types of shows. It varies from station to station as to the amount of hours they need to run.’

Bob Siegal, DIC Entertainment

‘You can say to a station, ‘Hey, here’s a show that we think kids will watch because it’s fun and interesting and the good news is that there’s an educational component.’ Ideally, entertaining and educational don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We don’t put a lot of stuff into development or production based on any kind of assumption [about regulatory changes]. The reality is that on the station level, they don’t seem to care. If they’re told they have to care and if the laws change, they will. But until someone says the rules have now changed, nothing will change.

‘You have to understand that in the kids business so much is in the hands of the advertisers who are tied into this stuff in terms of the toys. I’ve had several people say to me that if there’s no toy for a show, that means there is no toy advertiser which means there is no guarantee of ad dollars to the station carrying the show. . . . Ultimately, it d’es depend on whether or not the show finds an audience. But at least in terms of getting on the air and finding a decent time period the station, in many cases, isn’t sitting there saying, ‘you know I think this would play better at nine o’clock.’ ‘

Anthony Gentile, Abrams/Gentile Entertainment

‘We have always meant our shows to be affirmative, life positive shows. So in our own way we have been complying with FCC standards since day one. It would be nice to see the FCC enforce that but I don’t see it happening in any meaningful way. It just looks like a lot of lip service right now. I think you’re at the mercy of the ratings and if PowerRangers draws the ratings and advertising support, the FCC can say everything it wants to about quality programming, but the programmers are still going to go where they can get the biggest sponsors.’

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