The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on April 23 it had voted unanimously to adopt rules requiring public disclosure of broadcast television and radio content sponsored or provided by foreign governments.
The disclosure would be required at the time of a broadcast if a foreign governmental entity paid a radio or television station, directly or indirectly, to air material. Current rules do not specify when and how foreign government sponsorship should be publicly disclosed.
Jessica Rosenworcel, the agency's acting chairwoman, said reports of foreign government-sponsored programming had multiplied in recent years.
"We know that foreign entities are purchasing time on broadcast stations in markets across the country, including Chinese government-sponsored programming and Russian government-sponsored programming right here in our nation's capital," she said in a statement.
Rosenworcel said when broadcasters lease a portion of their airwaves, they must ask the leasee if it or its programming is from a foreign government entity.
If the answer is yes, a sponsorship identification will need to be placed on air and documented in the station’s public file.