Goto Section: 73.623 | 73.625 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.624
Revised as of December 7, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 73.624   Digital television broadcast stations.

   (a) Digital television (“DTV”) broadcast stations are assigned channels
   6 MHz wide. Initial eligibility for licenses for DTV broadcast stations
   is limited to persons that, as of April 3, 1997, are licensed to
   operate a full power television broadcast station or hold a permit to
   construct such a station (or both).

   (b) DTV broadcast station permittees or licensees must transmit at
   least one over-the-air video program signal at no direct charge to
   viewers on the DTV channel. Until such time as a DTV station permittee
   or licensee ceases analog transmissions and returns that spectrum to
   the Commission, and except as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this
   section, at any time that a DTV broadcast station permittee or licensee
   transmits a video program signal on its analog television channel, it
   must also transmit at least one over-the-air video program signal on
   the DTV channel. The DTV service that is provided pursuant to this
   paragraph must be at least comparable in resolution to the analog
   television station programming transmitted to viewers on the analog
   channel.

   (1) DTV broadcast station permittees and licensees required to
   construct and operate a DTV station by May 1, 2002, or May 1, 2003,
   pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section must, at a minimum, beginning
   on the date on which the DTV station is required to be constructed,
   provide a digital video program signal, of the quality described in
   paragraph (b) of this section, during prime time hours as defined in
   § 79.3(a)(6) of this chapter. These licensees and permittees must also
   comply with the minimum operating hours requirements in paragraph (f)
   of this section.

   (2) DTV licensees or permittees that choose to commence digital
   operation before the construction deadline set forth in paragraph (d)
   of this section are not subject to any minimum schedule for operation
   on the DTV channel.

   (3) DTV licensees or permittees that choose to broadcast an ATSC 3.0
   signal (using the Next Gen TV transmission standard in § 73.682(f))
   shall transmit at least one free over the air video programming stream
   on that signal that requires at most the signal threshold of a
   comparable received DTV signal. DTV licensees or permittees that choose
   to broadcast an ATSC 3.0 signal (using the Next Gen TV transmission
   standard in § 73.682(f)) shall also simulcast the primary video
   programming stream on its ATSC 3.0 signal by broadcasting an ATSC 1.0
   signal (using the DTV transmission standard in § 73.682(d)) from another
   broadcast television facility within its local market in accordance
   with the local simulcasting requirement in § § 73.3801, 73.6029 and
   74.782 of this chapter.

   (c) Provided that DTV broadcast stations comply with paragraph (b) of
   this section, DTV broadcast stations are permitted to offer services of
   any nature, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and
   necessity, on an ancillary or supplementary basis. The kinds of
   services that may be provided include, but are not limited to computer
   software distribution, data transmissions, teletext, interactive
   materials, aural messages, paging services, audio signals, subscription
   video, and any other services that do not derogate DTV broadcast
   stations' obligations under paragraph (b) of this section. Such
   services may be provided on a broadcast, point-to-point or
   point-to-multipoint basis, provided, however, that any video broadcast
   signal provided at no direct charge to viewers shall not be considered
   ancillary or supplementary.

   (1) DTV licensees that provide ancillary or supplementary services that
   are analogous to other services subject to regulation by the Commission
   must comply with the Commission regulations that apply to those
   services, provided, however, that no ancillary or supplementary service
   shall have any rights to carriage under § § 614 or 615 of the
   Communications Act of 1934, as amended, or be deemed a multichannel
   video programming distributor for purposes of section 628 of the
   Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

   (2) In all arrangements entered into with outside parties affecting
   service operation, the DTV licensee or permittee must retain control
   over all material transmitted in a broadcast mode via the station's
   facilities, with the right to reject any material in the sole judgement
   of the permitte or licensee. The license or permittee is also
   responsible for all aspects of technical operation involving such
   telecommunications services.

   (3) In any application for renewal of a broadcast license for a
   television station that provides ancillary or supplementary services, a
   licensee shall establish that all of its program services on the analog
   and the DTV spectrum are in the public interest. Any violation of the
   Commission's rules applicable to ancillary or supplementary services
   will reflect on the licensee's qualifications for renewal of its
   license.

   (d) Digital television broadcast facilities that comply with the FCC
   DTV Standard (section 73.682(d)), shall be constructed in the following
   markets by the following dates:

   (1)(i) May 1, 1999: all network-affiliated television stations in the
   top ten television markets;

   (ii) November 1, 1999: all network-affiliated television stations not
   included in category (1)(i) and in the top 30 television markets;

   (iii) May 1, 2002: all remaining commercial television stations;

   (iv) May 1, 2003: all noncommercial television stations.

   (v) May 18, 2008 in all markets for completion of construction of
   post-transition (DTV) facilities for all commercial and noncommercial
   television stations that will use the same channel used for
   pre-transition operation for post-transition operation and that, as of
   December 31, 2007, have a construction permit for facilities that
   conform to the facilities defined by the new DTV Table of Allotments
   and accompanying Appendix B, established by the Seventh Report and
   Order in MB Docket No. 87-268 and codified at 47 CFR 73.622(i).

   (vi) August 18, 2008 in all markets for completion of construction of
   post-transition (DTV) facilities for all commercial and noncommercial
   television stations that will use the same channel used for
   pre-transition operation for post-transition operation but which, as of
   December 31, 2007, do not have a construction permit for facilities
   that conform to the facilities defined by the new DTV Table of
   Allotments and accompanying Appendix B, established by the Seventh
   Report and Order in MB Docket No. 87-268 and codified at 47 CFR
   73.622(i).

   (vii) June 12, 2009 in all markets for completion of construction of
   post-transition (DTV) facilities for all commercial and noncommercial
   television stations whose post-transition digital channel is different
   from their pre-transition digital channel and for those stations whose
   post-transition channel is the same as their pre-transition channel but
   that are subject to a unique technical challenge that has been
   specifically recognized as such by the Commission.

   (2) For the purposes of paragraph (d)(1):

   (i) The term, “network,” is defined to include the ABC, CBS, NBC, and
   Fox television networks;

   (ii) The term, “television market,” is defined as the Designated Market
   Area or DMA as defined by Nielsen Media Research as of April 3, 1997;
   and

   (iii) The terms, “network-affiliated” or “network-affiliate,” are
   defined to include those television stations affiliated with at least
   one of the four networks designated in paragraph (d)(2)(i) as of April
   3, 1997. In those DMAs in which a network has more than one network
   affiliate, paragraphs (d)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section shall apply
   to its network affiliate with the largest audience share for the 9 a.m.
   to midnight time period as measured by Nielsen Media Research in its
   Nielsen Station Index, Viewers in Profile, as of February, 1997.

   (3) Authority delegated. (i) Authority is delegated to the Chief, Media
   Bureau to grant an extension of time of up to six months beyond the
   relevant construction deadline specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this
   section upon demonstration by the DTV licensee or permittee that
   failure to meet that construction deadline is due to circumstances that
   are either unforeseeable or beyond the licensee's control where the
   licensee has taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problem
   expeditiously.

   (ii) For construction deadlines occurring prior to June 13, 2009, the
   following circumstances may include, but shall not be limited to:

   (A) Inability to construct and place in operation a facility necessary
   for transmitting digital television, such as a tower, because of delays
   in obtaining zoning or FAA approvals, or similar constraints; or

   (B) Where the licensee or permittee is currently the subject of a
   bankruptcy or receivership proceeding, or is experiencing severe
   financial hardship as defined by negative cash flow for the past three
   years.

   (iii) For construction deadlines occurring after June 12, 2009, the
   tolling provisions of § 73.3598 shall apply.

   (iv) The Bureau may grant no more than two extension requests upon
   delegated authority. Subsequent extension requests shall be referred to
   the Commission. The Bureau may deny extension requests upon delegated
   authority.

   (v) Applications for extension of time shall be filed no earlier than
   90 and no later than 60 days prior to the relevant construction
   deadline, absent a showing of sufficient reasons for filing within less
   than 60 days of the relevant construction deadline.

   (e) The application for construction permit must be filed on Form 301
   (except for noncommercial stations, which must file on Form 340) on or
   before the date on which half of the construction period has elapsed.
   Thus, for example, for applicants in category (d)(1)(i), the
   application for construction period must be filed by May 1, 1998.

   (f)(1) Commencing on April 1, 2003, DTV television licensees and
   permittees required to construct and operate a DTV station by May 1,
   2002, or May 1, 2003, must transmit at least one over-the-air video
   program signal at no direct charge to viewers on their DTV channel at
   least 50 percent of the time they are transmitting a video program
   signal on their analog channel.

   (2) Commencing on April 1, 2004, DTV licensees and permittees described
   in paragraph (f)(1) of this section must transmit a video program
   signal as described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section on the DTV
   channel at least 75 percent of the time they are transmitting a video
   program signal on the analog channel.

   (3) Commencing on April 1, 2005, DTV licensees and permittees described
   in paragraph (f)(1) of this section must transmit a video program
   signal as described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section on the DTV
   channel at least 100 percent of the time they are transmitting a video
   program signal on the analog channel.

   (4) The minimum operating hours requirements imposed in paragraphs (f)
   (1) through (3) of this section will terminate when the analog channel
   terminates operation and a 6 MHz channel is returned by the DTV
   licensee or permittee to the Commission.

   (g) Commercial and noncommercial DTV licensees and permittees, and low
   power television, TV translator and Class A television stations DTV
   licensees and permittees, must annually remit a fee of five percent of
   the gross revenues derived from all ancillary and supplementary
   services, as defined by paragraph (b) of this section, which are
   feeable, as defined in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) and through (ii) of this
   section.

   (1)(i) All ancillary or supplementary services for which payment of a
   subscription fee or charge is required in order to receive the service
   are feeable. The fee required by this provision shall be imposed on any
   and all revenues from such services, including revenues derived from
   subscription fees and from any commercial advertisements transmitted on
   the service.

   (ii) Any ancillary or supplementary service for which no payment is
   required from consumers in order to receive the service is feeable if
   the DTV licensee directly or indirectly receives compensation from a
   third party in return for the transmission of material provided by that
   third party (other than commercial advertisements used to support
   broadcasting for which a subscription fee is not required). The fee
   required by this provision shall be imposed on any and all revenues
   from such services, other than revenues received from a third party in
   return for the transmission of commercial advertisements used to
   support broadcasting for which a subscription fee is not required.

   (2) Payment of fees. (i) Each December 1, all commercial and
   noncommercial DTV licensees and permittees that provided feeable
   ancillary or supplementary services as defined in this section at any
   point during the 12-month period ending on the preceding September 30
   will electronically report, for the applicable period:

   (A) A brief description of the feeable ancillary or supplementary
   services provided;

   (B) Gross revenues received from all feeable ancillary and
   supplementary services provided during the applicable period; and

   (C) The amount of bitstream used to provide feeable ancillary or
   supplementary services during the applicable period. Licensees and
   permittees will certify under penalty of perjury the accuracy of the
   information reported. Failure to file information required by this
   section may result in appropriate sanctions.

   (ii) A commercial or noncommercial DTV licensee or permittee that has
   provided feeable ancillary or supplementary services at any point
   during a 12-month period ending on September 30 must additionally file
   the FCC's standard remittance form (Form 159) on the subsequent
   December 1. Licensees and permittees will certify the amount of gross
   revenues received from feeable ancillary or supplementary services for
   the applicable 12-month period and will remit the payment of the
   required fee.

   (iii) The Commission reserves the right to audit each licensee's or
   permittee's records which support the calculation of the amount
   specified on line 23A of Form 159. Each licensee or permittee,
   therefore, is required to retain such records for three years from the
   date of remittance of fees.

   [ 62 FR 26989 , May 16, 1997, as amended at  63 FR 15784 , Apr. 1, 1998;  63 FR 69216 , Dec. 16, 1998;  64 FR 4327 , Jan. 28, 1999;  66 FR 58982 , Nov.
   26, 2001;  66 FR 65135 , Dec. 18, 2001;  67 FR 13232 , Mar. 21, 2002;  67 FR 38423 , June 4, 2002;  69 FR 59535 , Oct. 4, 2004;  73 FR 5683 , Jan. 30,
   2008;  74 FR 8878 , Feb. 27, 2009;  76 FR 44827 , July 27, 2011;  83 FR 5022 , Feb. 2, 2018;  83 FR 19460 , May 3, 2018]

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Goto Section: 73.623 | 73.625

Goto Year: 2018 | 2020
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