Goto Section: 76.55 | 76.57 | Table of Contents

FCC 76.56
Revised as of December 7, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 76.56   Signal carriage obligations.

   (a) Carriage of qualified noncommercial educational stations. A cable
   television system shall carry qualified NCE television stations in
   accordance with the following provisions:

   (1) Each cable operator shall carry on its cable television system any
   qualified local NCE television station requesting carriage, except that

   (i) Systems with 12 or fewer usable activated channels, as defined in
   § 76.5(oo), shall be required to carry the signal of one such station;

   (ii) Systems with 13 to 36 usable activated channels, as defined in
   § 76.5(oo), shall be required to carry at least one qualified local NCE
   station, but not more than three such stations; and

   (iii) Systems with more than 36 usable activated channels shall be
   required to carry the signals of all qualified local NCE television
   stations requesting carriage, but in any event at least three such
   signals; however a cable system with more than 36 channels shall not be
   required to carry an additional qualified local NCE station whose
   programming substantially duplicates the programming of another
   qualified local NCE station being carried on the system.

   Note: For purposes of this paragraph, a station will be deemed to
   ‚Äúsubstantially duplicate‚ÄĚ the programming of another station if it
   broadcasts the same programming, simultaneous or non-simultaneous, for
   more than 50 percent of prime time, as defined in § 76.5(n), and more
   than 50 percent outside of prime time over a three-month period.

   (2)(i) In the case of a cable system with 12 or fewer channels that
   operates beyond the presence of any qualified local NCE stations, the
   cable operator shall import one qualified NCE television station.

   (ii) A cable system with between 13 and 36 channels that operates
   beyond the presence of any qualified local NCE stations, the cable
   operator shall import at least one qualified NCE television station.

   (3) A cable system with 12 or fewer usable activated channels shall not
   be required to remove any programming service provided to subscribers
   as of March 29, 1990, to satisfy these requirements, except that the
   first available channel must be used to satisfy these requirements.

   (4) A cable system with 13 to 36 usable activated channels which
   carries the signal of a qualified local NCE station affiliated with a
   State public television network shall not be required to carry more
   than one qualified local NCE station affiliated with such network, if
   the programming of such additional stations substantially duplicates,
   as defined in the note in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the
   programming of a qualified local NCE television station receiving
   carriage.

   (5) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this
   section, all cable operators shall continue to provide carriage to all
   qualified local NCE television stations whose signals were carried on
   their systems as of March 29, 1990. In the case of a cable system that
   is required to import a distance qualified NCE signal, and such system
   imported the signal of a qualified NCE station as of March 29, 1990,
   such cable system shall continue to import such signal until such time
   as a qualified local NCE signal is available to the cable system. This
   requirements may be waived with respect to a particular cable operator
   and a particular NCE station, upon the written consent of the cable
   operator and the station.

   (b) Carriage of local commercial television stations. A cable
   television system shall carry local commercial broadcast television
   stations in accordance with the following provisions:

   (1) A cable system with 12 or fewer usable activated channels, as
   defined in § 76.5(oo), shall carry the signals of at least three
   qualified local commercial television stations, except that if such
   system serves 300 or fewer subscribers it shall not be subject to these
   requirements as long as it does not delete from carriage the signal of
   a broadcast television station which was carried on that system on
   October 5, 1992.

   (2) A cable system with more than 12 usable activated channels, as
   defined in § 76.5(oo), shall carry local commercial television stations
   up to one-third of the aggregate number of usable activated channels of
   such system.

   (3) If there are not enough local commercial television stations to
   fill the channels set aside under paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this
   section, a cable operator of a system with 35 or fewer usable activated
   channels, as defined in § 76.5(oo), shall, if such stations exist, carry
   one qualified low power television station and a cable system with more
   than 35 usable activated channels shall carry two qualified low power
   stations.

   (4) Whenever the number of local commercial television stations exceeds
   the maximum number of signals a cable system is required to carry under
   paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section, the cable operator shall
   have discretion in selecting which such stations shall be carried on
   its cable system, except that

   (i) Under no circumstances shall a cable operator carry a qualified low
   power station in lieu of a local commercial television station; and

   (ii) If the cable operator elects to carry an affiliate of a broadcast
   network, as defined in § 76.55(f), such cable operator shall carry the
   affiliate of such broadcast network whose community of license
   reference point, as defined in § 76.53, is closest to the principal
   headend, as defined in § 76.5(pp), of the cable system.

   (5) A cable operator is not required to carry the signal of any local
   commercial television station that substantially duplicates the signal
   of another local commercial television station that is carried on its
   cable system, or to carry the signals of more than one local commercial
   television station affiliated with a particular broadcast network, as
   defined in § 76.55(f). However, if a cable operator declines to carry
   duplicating signals, such cable operator shall carry the station whose
   community of license reference point, as defined in § 76.53, is closest
   to the principal headend of the cable system. For purposes of this
   paragraph, substantially duplicates means that a station regularly
   simultaneously broadcasts the identical programming as another station
   for more than 50 percent of the broadcast week. For purposes of this
   definition, only identical episodes of a television series are
   considered duplicative and commercial inserts are excluded from the
   comparison. When the stations being compared are licensed to
   communities in different time zones, programming aired by a station
   within one hour of the identical program being broadcast by another
   station will be considered duplicative.

   (6) [Reserved]

   (7) A local commercial television station carried to fulfill the
   requirements of this paragraph, which subsequently elects
   retransmission consent pursuant to § 76.64, shall continue to be carried
   by the cable system until the effective date of such retransmission
   consent election.

   (c) Use of public, educational, or governmental (PEG) channels. A cable
   operator required to carry more than one signal of a qualified low
   power station or to add qualified local NCE stations in fulfillment of
   these must-carry obligations may do so, subject to approval by the
   franchising authority pursuant to Section 611 of the Communications Act
   of 1934, as amended, by placing such additional station on public,
   educational, or governmental channels not in use for their designated
   purposes.

   (d) Availability of signals. (1) Local commercial television stations
   carried in fulfillment of the requirements of this section shall be
   provided to every subscriber of a cable system. Such signals shall be
   viewable via cable on all television receivers of a subscriber which
   are connected to a cable system by a cable operator or for which a
   cable operator provides a connection.

   (2) Qualified local NCE television stations carried in fulfillment of
   the carriage obligations of a cable operator under this section shall
   be available to every subscriber as part of the cable system's lowest
   priced service tier that includes the retransmission of local
   commercial television broadcast signals.

   (e) Carriage of additional broadcast television signals on such system
   shall be at the discretion of the cable operator, subject to the
   retransmission consent rules, § 76.64. A cable system may also carry any
   ancillary or other transmission contained in the broadcast television
   signal.

   (f) Calculation of broadcast signals carried. When calculating the
   portion of a cable system devoted to carriage of local commercial
   television stations under paragraph (b) of this section, a cable
   operator may count the primary video and program-related signals of all
   such stations, and any alternative-format versions of those signals,
   that they carry.

   (g) Channel sharing carriage rights. A broadcast television station
   that voluntarily relinquishes spectrum usage rights under 73.3700 of
   this chapter in order to share a television channel and that possessed
   carriage rights under section 338, 614, or 615 of the Communications
   Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 338; 534; 535) on November 30, 2010, shall have,
   at its shared location, the carriage rights under such section that
   would apply to such station at such location if it were not sharing a
   channel.

   (h) Next Gen TV carriage rights. (1) A broadcast television station
   that chooses to deploy Next Gen TV service, see § 73.682(f) of this
   chapter, may assert mandatory carriage rights under this section only
   with respect to its ATSC 1.0 signal and may not assert mandatory
   carriage rights with respect to its ATSC 3.0 signal.

   (2) With respect to a Next Gen TV station that moves its 1.0 simulcast
   signal to a host station's (i.e., a station whose facilities are being
   used to transmit programming originated by another station) facilities,
   the station may assert mandatory carriage rights under this section
   only if it:

   (i) Qualified for, and has been exercising, mandatory carriage rights
   at its original location; and

   (ii) Continues to qualify for mandatory carriage at the host station's
   facilities, including (but not limited to) delivering a good quality
   1.0 signal to the cable system principal headend, or agreeing to be
   responsible for the costs of delivering such 1.0 signal to the cable
   system.

   Note 1 to § 76.56: Section 76.1620 provides notification requirements
   for a cable operator who authorizes subscribers to install additional
   receiver connections, but does not provide the subscriber with such
   connections, or with the equipment and materials for such connections.

   Note 2 to § 76.56: Section 76.1614 provides response requirements for a
   cable operator who receives a written request to identify its
   must-carry signals.

   Note 3 to § 76.56: Section 76.1709 provides recordkeeping requirements
   with regard to a cable operator's list of must-carry signals.

   [ 58 FR 17360 , Apr. 2, 1993, as amended at  58 FR 39161 , July 22, 1993;
    58 FR 40368 , July 28, 1993;  59 FR 62344 , Dec. 5, 1994;  65 FR 53614 ,
   Sept. 5, 2000;  66 FR 16553 , Mar. 26, 2001;  73 FR 6054 , Feb. 1, 2008;  77 FR 30426 , May 23, 2012;  77 FR 36192 , June 18, 2012;  83 FR 5028 , Feb. 2,
   2018;  83 FR 7626 , Feb. 22, 2018]

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Goto Section: 76.55 | 76.57

Goto Year: 2018 | 2020
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