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FCC Defends Kids Rules - Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Defends Kids Rules

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The FCC has asked the D.C. circuit court to reject Disney's writ of mandamus regarding the commission's digital children's TV rules.

Disney has asked the court to force the commmission to rule on various challenges to the rules (by Nov. 1) before they are to take effect Jan. 1, 2006, or at least to stay enforcement until it did rule on the challenges.

The commission, in its response to the court Tuesday, asked it to deny the petition, saying it had only had less than seven months to review the complicated arguments, "far short of the 'unjustifiable' delay" the court has held might warrant mandamus relief."

Plus, it says, the rules themselves are narrowly tailored to further the "well established interest in promoting and protecting the well-being of children."

Disney, Viacom and others have challenged the new rules as unconstitional, unworkable, and a threat to the economics of producing children's programming.

The rules count all nonprogramming material, including show promos and Web links, as advertising subject to kids TV ad limits.

Disney has until Nov. 1 to respond to the FCC's response.

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