The Federal Communications Commission announced a temporary, limited waiver today, which makes it easier for local TV stations to broadcast live local events like religious services. The idea, it says, is to open up time slots that are normally dedicated to children’s programming, allowing more people to watch live broadcasts of Easter services, Passover seders, and more without having to attend in person.
“On one hand, social distancing is a critical factor in enabling the mitigation of the spread of the coronavirus. On the other, we are in the midst of important holy days for so many Americans. By making it easier for local TV stations to broadcast religious services and rituals to the faithful in their homes, we can enable both social distancing and observance,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a press release.
The waiver lasts until April 30th and allows broadcasters to replace regularly scheduled children’s content with live local event coverage without having to reschedule the regular programming. Stations are still encouraged to reschedule that content, and they’ll need to let their viewers know when kids programming has been moved.
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