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FCC Commissioner Favors NRB Non-Com Fundraising Proposal

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai this week told the NRB Board of Directors that he supports a proposed FCC rule change, spearheaded by NRB, that would allow noncommercial Christian radio and TV stations to provide fundraising support for charitable ministries in local communities and abroad.

Last year, the FCC formally began considering NRB’s proposal that noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcast stations be allowed to use up to one percent of their air-time to fundraise for the benefit of third-party non-profit organizations. Through public and private conversations at the FCC, NRB has long advocated for this regulatory change.  In its public filing supporting this FCC proceeding, NRB declared: 

This rule change would represent a “win-win-win” scenario. NCE stations would be able to promote worthy causes and receive some reasonable compensation; non-profit groups could be supported so they can better provide community, humanitarian, and social services – all without government funding; and the public could be better educated and energized to participate in helping to solve significant human problems and relieve human suffering.

Commissioner Pai stated, “Allowing noncommercial stations to fundraise for third-party charities is the right thing to do." Noting the concern of some parties, such as National Public Radio, that the proposal may inundate them with requests, Commissioner Pai commented, “[B]roadcasters make plenty of decisions each and every day, and I'm sure they can handle this one without antacid. I also don't accept the underlying premise that people should be given less freedom because making decisions sometimes can be hard.” 

NRB will continue to actively push for the adoption of this rule change.

  • Find additional press coverage of Commissioner Pai’s remarks to the NRB Board of Directors here and here.
  • Read NRB’s public comments on this rule change.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: October 4, 2013

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