47 CFR § 73.1212 - Sponsorship identification; list retention; related requirements.

§ 73.1212 Sponsorship identification; list retention; related requirements.

(a) When a broadcast station transmits any matter for which money, service, or other valuable consideration is either directly or indirectly paid or promised to, or charged or accepted by such station, the station, at the time of the broadcast, shall announce:

(1) That such matter is sponsored, paid for, or furnished, either in whole or in part, and

(2) By whom or on whose behalf such consideration was supplied: Provided, however, That “service or other valuable consideration” shall not include any service or property furnished either without or at a nominal charge for use on, or in connection with, a broadcast unless it is so furnished in consideration for an identification of any person, product, service, trademark, or brand name beyond an identification reasonably related to the use of such service or property on the broadcast.

(i) For the purposes of this section, the term “sponsored” shall be deemed to have the same meaning as “paid for.”

(ii) In the case of any television political advertisement concerning candidates for public office, the sponsor shall be identified with letters equal to or greater than four percent of the vertical picture height that air for not less than four seconds.

(b) The licensee of each broadcast station shall exercise reasonable diligence to obtain from its employees, and from other persons with whom it deals directly in connection with any matter for broadcast, information to enable such licensee to make the announcement required by this section.

(c) In any case where a report has been made to a broadcast station as required by section 507 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, of circumstances which would have required an announcement under this section had the consideration been received by such broadcast station, an appropriate announcement shall be made by such station.

(d) In the case of any political broadcast matter or any broadcast matter involving the discussion of a controversial issue of public importance for which any film, record, transcription, talent, script, or other material or service of any kind is furnished, either directly or indirectly, to a station as an inducement for broadcasting such matter, an announcement shall be made both at the beginning and conclusion of such broadcast on which such material or service is used that such film, record, transcription, talent, script, or other material or service has been furnished to such station in connection with the transmission of such broadcast matter: Provided, however, That in the case of any broadcast of 5 minutes' duration or less, only one such announcement need be made either at the beginning or conclusion of the broadcast.

(e) The announcement required by this section shall, in addition to stating the fact that the broadcast matter was sponsored, paid for or furnished, fully and fairly disclose the true identity of the person or persons, or corporation, committee, association or other unincorporated group, or other entity by whom or on whose behalf such payment is made or promised, or from whom or on whose behalf such services or other valuable consideration is received, or by whom the material or services referred to in paragraph (d) of this section are furnished. Where an agent or other person or entity contracts or otherwise makes arrangements with a station on behalf of another, and such fact is known or by the exercise of reasonable diligence, as specified in paragraph (b) of this section, could be known to the station, the announcement shall disclose the identity of the person or persons or entity on whose behalf such agent is acting instead of the name of such agent. Where the material broadcast is political matter or matter involving the discussion of a controversial issue of public importance and a corporation, committee, association or other unincorporated group, or other entity is paying for or furnishing the broadcast matter, the station shall, in addition to making the announcement required by this section, require that a list of the chief executive officers or members of the executive committee or of the board of directors of the corporation, committee, association or other unincorporated group, or other entity shall be made available for public inspection at the location specified under § 73.3526. If the broadcast is originated by a network, the list may, instead, be retained at the headquarters office of the network or at the location where the originating station maintains its public inspection file under § 73.3526. Such lists shall be kept and made available for a period of two years.

(f) In the case of broadcast matter advertising commercial products or services, an announcement stating the sponsor's corporate or trade name, or the name of the sponsor's product, when it is clear that the mention of the name of the product constitutes a sponsorship identification, shall be deemed sufficient for the purpose of this section and only one such announcement need be made at any time during the course of the broadcast.

(g) The announcement otherwise required by section 317 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, is waived with respect to the broadcast of “want ad” or classified advertisements sponsored by an individual. The waiver granted in this paragraph shall not extend to a classified advertisement or want ad sponsorship by any form of business enterprise, corporate or otherwise. Whenever sponsorship announcements are omitted pursuant to this paragraph, the licensee shall observe the following conditions:

(1) Maintain a list showing the name, address, and (where available) the telephone number of each advertiser;

(2) Make this list available to members of the public who have a legitimate interest in obtaining the information contained in the list. Such list must be retained for a period of two years after broadcast.

(h) Any announcement required by section 317(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, is waived with respect to feature motion picture film produced initially and primarily for theatre exhibition.

Note:

The waiver heretofore granted by the Commission in its Report and Order adopted November 16, 1960 (FCC 60-1369; 40 F.C.C. 95), continues to apply to programs filmed or recorded on or before June 20, 1963, when § 73.654, the predecessor television rule, went into effect.

(i) Commission interpretations in connection with the provisions of the sponsorship identification rules are contained in the Commission's Public Notice, entitled “Applicability of Sponsorship Identification Rules,” dated May 6, 1963 (40 F.C.C. 141), as modified by Public Notice, dated April 21, 1975 (FCC 75-418). Further interpretations are printed in full in various volumes of the Federal Communications Commission Reports.

(j)

(1)

(i) Where the material broadcast consistent with paragraph (a) or (d) of this section has been aired pursuant to the lease of time on the station and has been provided by a foreign governmental entity, the station, at the time of the broadcast, shall include the following disclosure:

The [following/preceding] programming was [sponsored, paid for, or furnished], either in whole or in part, by [name of foreign governmental entity] on behalf of [name of foreign country].

(ii) If the material broadcast contains a “conspicuous statement” pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) (22 U.S.C. 614(b)), such conspicuous statement will suffice for purposes of this paragraph (j)(1) if the conspicuous statement also contains a disclosure about the foreign country associated with the individual/entity that has sponsored, paid for, or furnished the material being broadcast.

(2) The term “foreign governmental entity” shall include governments of foreign countries, foreign political parties, agents of foreign principals, and United States-based foreign media outlets.

(i) The term “government of a foreign country” has the meaning given such term in the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 611(e)).

(ii) The term “foreign political party” has the meaning given such term in the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 611(f)).

(iii) The term “agent of a foreign principal” has the meaning given such term in the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 611(c)), and who is registered as such with the Department of Justice, and whose “foreign principal” is a “government of a foreign country,” a “foreign political party,” or directly or indirectly operated, supervised, directed, owned, controlled, financed, or subsidized by a “government of a foreign country” or a “foreign political party” as defined in paragraphs (j)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, and that is acting in its capacity as an agent of such “foreign principal”.

(iv) The term “United States-based foreign media outlet” has the meaning given such term in section 722(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 624(a)).

(3) The licensee of each broadcast station shall exercise reasonable diligence to ascertain whether the foreign sponsorship disclosure requirements in paragraph (j)(1) of this section apply at the time of the lease agreement and at any renewal thereof, including:

(i) Informing the lessee of the foreign sponsorship disclosure requirement in paragraph (j)(1) of this section;

(ii) Inquiring of the lessee whether the lessee falls into any of the categories in paragraph (j)(2) of this section that qualify the lessee as a foreign governmental entity;

(iii) Inquiring of the lessee whether the lessee knows if anyone involved in the production or distribution of the programming that will be aired pursuant to the lease agreement, or a sub-lease, qualifies as a foreign governmental entity and has provided some type of inducement to air the programming;

(iv) Independently confirming the lessee's status, by consulting the Department of Justice's FARA website and the Commission's semi-annual U.S.-based foreign media outlets reports, if the lessee states that it does not fall within the definition of “foreign governmental entity” and that there is no separate need for a disclosure because no one further back in the chain of producing/transmitting the programming falls within the definition of “foreign governmental entity” and has provided an inducement to air the programming; and

(v) Memorializing the inquiries in paragraphs (j)(3)(i) through (iv) of this section to track compliance therewith and retaining such documentation in the licensee's records for either the remainder of the then-current license term or one year, whichever is longer, so as to respond to any future Commission inquiry.

(4) In the case of any video programming, the foreign governmental entity and the country represented shall be identified with letters equal to or greater than four percent of the vertical picture height that air for not less than four seconds.

(5) At a minimum, the announcement required by paragraph (j)(1) of this section shall be made at both the beginning and conclusion of the programming. For programming of greater than sixty minutes in duration, an announcement shall be made at regular intervals during the broadcast, but no less frequently than once every sixty minutes.

(6) Where the primary language of the programming is other than English, the disclosure statement shall be made in the primary language of the programming. If the programming contains a “conspicuous statement” pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 614(b)), and such conspicuous statement is in a language other than English so as to conform to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 611 et seq.), an additional disclosure in English is not needed.

(7) A station shall place copies of the disclosures required by this paragraph (j) and the name of the program to which the disclosures were appended in its online public inspection file on a quarterly basis in a standalone folder marked as “Foreign Government-Provided Programming Disclosures.” The filing must state the date and time the program aired. In the case of repeat airings of the program, those additional dates and times should also be included. Where an aural announcement was made, its contents must be reduced to writing and placed in the online public inspection file in the same manner.

(k) The requirements in paragraph (j) of this section shall apply to programs permitted to be delivered to foreign broadcast stations under an authorization pursuant to the section 325(c) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 325(c)) if any part of the material has been sponsored, paid for, or furnished for free as an inducement to air on the foreign station by a foreign governmental entity. A section 325(c) permit holder shall place copies of the disclosures required along with the name of the program to which the disclosures were appended in the International Bureau's public filing System (IBFS) under the relevant IBFS section 325(c) permit file. The filing must state the date and time the program aired. In the case of repeat airings of the program, those additional dates and times should also be included. Where an aural announcement was made, its contents must be reduced to writing and placed in the IBFS in the same manner.

(l) Paragraphs (j) and (k) of this section contain information-collection and recordkeeping requirements. Compliance with paragraphs (j) and (k) of this section shall not be required until after review by the Office of Management and Budget. The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing compliance dates and removing this paragraph (l) accordingly.

[40 FR 18400, Apr. 28, 1975, as amended at 46 FR 13907, Feb. 24, 1981; 49 FR 4211, Feb. 3, 1984; 49 FR 33663, Aug. 24, 1984; 50 FR 32417, Aug. 12, 1985; 57 FR 8279, Mar. 9, 1992; 77 FR 27655, May 11, 2012; 86 FR 32238, June 17, 2021]

The following state regulations pages link to this page.