Goto Section: 76.65 | 76.70 | Table of Contents

FCC 76.66
Revised as of December 7, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 76.66   Satellite broadcast signal carriage.

   (a) Definitions—(1) Satellite carrier. A satellite carrier is an entity
   that uses the facilities of a satellite or satellite service licensed
   by the Federal Communications Commission, and operates in the
   Fixed-Satellite Service under part 25 of title 47 of the Code of
   Federal Regulations or the Direct Broadcast Satellite Service under
   part 100 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, to establish
   and operate a channel of communications for point-to-multipoint
   distribution of television station signals, and that owns or leases a
   capacity or a service on a satellite in order to provide such
   point-to-multipoint distribution, except to the extent that such entity
   provides such distribution pursuant to tariff under the Communications
   Act of 1934, other than for private home viewing.

   (2) Secondary transmission. A secondary transmission is the further
   transmitting of a primary transmission simultaneously with the primary
   transmission.

   (3) Subscriber. A subscriber is a person who receives a secondary
   transmission service from a satellite carrier and pays a fee for the
   service, directly or indirectly, to the satellite carrier or to a
   distributor.

   (4) Television broadcast station. A television broadcast station is an
   over-the-air commercial or noncommercial television broadcast station
   licensed by the Commission under subpart E of part 73 of title 47, Code
   of Federal Regulations, except that such term does not include a
   low-power or translator television station.

   (5) Television network. For purposes of this section, a television
   network is an entity which offers an interconnected program service on
   a regular basis for 15 or more hours per week to at least 25 affiliated
   broadcast stations in 10 or more States.

   (6) Local-into-local television service. A satellite carrier is
   providing local-into-local service when it retransmits a local
   television station signal back into the local market of that television
   station for reception by subscribers.

   (b) Signal carriage obligations. (1) Each satellite carrier providing,
   under section 122 of title 17, United States Code, secondary
   transmissions to subscribers located within the local market of a
   television broadcast station of a primary transmission made by that
   station, shall carry upon request the signals of all television
   broadcast stations located within that local market, subject to section
   325(b) of title 47, United States Code, and other paragraphs in this
   section. Satellite carriers are required to carry digital-only stations
   upon request in markets in which the satellite carrier is providing any
   local-into-local service pursuant to the statutory copyright license.

   (2) A satellite carrier that offers multichannel video programming
   distribution service in the United States to more than 5,000,000
   subscribers shall, no later than December 8, 2005, carry upon request
   the signal originating as an analog signal of each television broadcast
   station that is located in a local market in Alaska or Hawaii; and
   shall, no later than June 8, 2007, carry upon request the signals
   originating as digital signals of each television broadcast station
   that is located in a local market in Alaska or Hawaii. Such satellite
   carrier is not required to carry the signal originating as analog after
   commencing carriage of digital signals on June 8, 2007. Carriage of
   signals originating as digital signals of each television broadcast
   station that is located in a local market in Alaska or Hawaii shall
   include the entire free over-the-air signal, including multicast and
   high definition digital signals.

   (c) Election cycle. In television markets where a satellite carrier is
   providing local-into-local service, a commercial television broadcast
   station may elect either retransmission consent, pursuant to section
   325 of title 47 United States Code, or mandatory carriage, pursuant to
   section 338, title 47 United States Code.

   (1) The first retransmission consent-mandatory carriage election cycle
   shall be for a four-year period commencing on January 1, 2002 and
   ending December 31, 2005.

   (2) The second retransmission consent-mandatory carriage election
   cycle, and all cycles thereafter, shall be for a period of three years
   (e.g. the second election cycle commences on January 1, 2006 and ends
   at midnight on December 31, 2008).

   (3) A commercial television station must notify a satellite carrier, by
   July 1, 2001, of its retransmission consent-mandatory carriage election
   for the first election cycle commencing January 1, 2002.

   (4) Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(6), (d)(2) and (d)(3) of this
   section, local commercial television broadcast stations shall make
   their retransmission consent-mandatory carriage election by October 1st
   of the year preceding the new cycle for all election cycles after the
   first election cycle.

   (5) A noncommercial television station must request carriage by July 1,
   2001 for the first election cycle and must renew its carriage request
   at the same time a commercial television station must make its
   retransmission consent-mandatory carriage election for all subsequent
   cycles.

   (6) A commercial television broadcast station located in a local market
   in Alaska or Hawaii shall make its retransmission consent-mandatory
   carriage election by October 1, 2005, for carriage of its signal that
   originates as an analog signal for carriage commencing on December 8,
   2005, and by April 1, 2007, for its signal that originates as a digital
   signal for carriage commencing on June 8, 2007 and ending on December
   31, 2008. For analog and digital signal carriage cycles commencing
   after December 31, 2008, such stations shall follow the election cycle
   in paragraphs (c)(2) and (4). A noncommercial television broadcast
   station located in a local market in Alaska or Hawaii must request
   carriage by October 1, 2005, for carriage of its signal that originates
   as an analog signal for carriage commencing on December 8, 2005, and by
   April 1, 2007, for its signal that originates as a digital signal for
   carriage commencing on June 8, 2007 and ending on December 31, 2008.

   (d) Carriage procedures—(1) Carriage requests. (i) An election for
   mandatory carriage made by a television broadcast station shall be
   treated as a request for carriage. For purposes of this paragraph
   concerning carriage procedures, the term election request includes an
   election of retransmission consent or mandatory carriage.

   (ii) An election request made by a television station must be in
   writing and sent to the satellite carrier's principal place of
   business, by certified mail, return receipt requested.

   (iii) A television station's written notification shall include the:

   (A) Station's call sign;

   (B) Name of the appropriate station contact person;

   (C) Station's address for purposes of receiving official
   correspondence;

   (D) Station's community of license;

   (E) Station's DMA assignment; and

   (F) For commercial television stations, its election of mandatory
   carriage or retransmission consent.

   (iv) Within 30 days of receiving a television station's carriage
   request, a satellite carrier shall notify in writing:

   (A) those local television stations it will not carry, along with the
   reasons for such a decision; and

   (B) those local television stations it intends to carry.

   (v) A satellite carrier is not required to carry a television station,
   for the duration of the election cycle, if the station fails to assert
   its carriage rights by the deadlines established in this section.

   (2) New local-into-local service. (i) A new satellite carrier or a
   satellite carrier providing local service in a market for the first
   time after July 1, 2001, shall inform each television broadcast station
   licensee within any local market in which a satellite carrier proposes
   to commence carriage of signals of stations from that market, not later
   than 60 days prior to the commencement of such carriage

   (A) Of the carrier's intention to launch local-into-local service under
   this section in a local market, the identity of that local market, and
   the location of the carrier's proposed local receive facility for that
   local market;

   (B) Of the right of such licensee to elect carriage under this section
   or grant retransmission consent under section 325(b);

   (C) That such licensee has 30 days from the date of the receipt of such
   notice to make such election; and

   (D) That failure to make such election will result in the loss of the
   right to demand carriage under this section for the remainder of the
   3-year cycle of carriage under section 325.

   (ii) Satellite carriers shall transmit the notices required by
   paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section via certified mail to the address
   for such television station licensee listed in the consolidated
   database system maintained by the Commission.

   (iii) A satellite carrier with more than five million subscribers shall
   provide the notice as required by paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and (ii) of this
   section to each television broadcast station located in a local market
   in Alaska or Hawaii, not later than March 1, 2007 with respect to
   carriage of digital signals; provided, further, that the notice shall
   also describe the carriage requirements pursuant to 47 U.S.C.
   338(a)(4), and paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

   (iv) A satellite carrier shall commence carriage of a local station by
   the later of 90 days from receipt of an election of mandatory carriage
   or upon commencing local-into-local service in the new television
   market.

   (v) Within 30 days of receiving a local television station's election
   of mandatory carriage in a new television market, a satellite carrier
   shall notify in writing: Those local television stations it will not
   carry, along with the reasons for such decision, and those local
   television stations it intends to carry.

   (vi) Satellite carriers shall notify all local stations in a market of
   their intent to launch HD carry-one, carry-all in that market at least
   60 days before commencing such carriage.

   (3) New television stations. (i) A television station providing
   over-the-air service in a market for the first time on or after July 1,
   2001, shall be considered a new television station for satellite
   carriage purposes.

   (ii) A new television station shall make its election request, in
   writing, sent to the satellite carrier's principal place of business by
   certified mail, return receipt requested, between 60 days prior to
   commencing broadcasting and 30 days after commencing broadcasting. This
   written notification shall include the information required by
   paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of this section.

   (iii) A satellite carrier shall commence carriage within 90 days of
   receiving the request for carriage from the television broadcast
   station or whenever the new television station provides over-the-air
   service.

   (iv) Within 30 days of receiving a new television station's election of
   mandatory carriage, a satellite carrier shall notify the station in
   writing that it will not carry the station, along with the reasons for
   such decision, or that it intends to carry the station.

   (4) Television broadcast stations must send election requests as
   provided in paragraphs (d)(1), (2), and (3) of this section on or
   before the relevant deadline.

   (5) Elections in markets in which significantly viewed signals are
   carried. (i) Beginning with the election cycle described in
   § 76.66(c)(2), the retransmission of significantly viewed signals
   pursuant to § 76.54 by a satellite carrier that provides
   local-into-local service is subject to providing the notifications to
   stations in the market pursuant to paragraphs (d)(5)(i)(A) and (B) of
   this section, unless the satellite carrier was retransmitting such
   signals as of the date these notifications were due.

   (A) In any local market in which a satellite carrier provided
   local-into-local service on December 8, 2004, at least 60 days prior to
   any date on which a station must make an election under paragraph (c)
   of this section, identify each affiliate of the same television network
   that the carrier reserves the right to retransmit into that station's
   local market during the next election cycle and the communities into
   which the satellite carrier reserves the right to make such
   retransmissions;

   (B) In any local market in which a satellite carrier commences
   local-into-local service after December 8, 2004, at least 60 days prior
   to the commencement of service in that market, and thereafter at least
   60 days prior to any date on which the station must thereafter make an
   election under § 76.66(c) or (d)(2), identify each affiliate of the same
   television network that the carrier reserves the right to retransmit
   into that station's local market during the next election cycle.

   (ii) A television broadcast station located in a market in which a
   satellite carrier provides local-into-local television service may
   elect either retransmission consent or mandatory carriage for each
   county within the station's local market if the satellite carrier
   provided notice to the station, pursuant to paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this
   section, that it intends to carry during the next election cycle, or
   has been carrying on the date notification was due, in the station's
   local market another affiliate of the same network as a significantly
   viewed signal pursuant to § 76.54.

   (iii) A television broadcast station that elects mandatory carriage for
   one or more counties in its market and elects retransmission consent
   for one or more other counties in its market pursuant to paragraph
   (d)(5)(ii) of this section shall conduct a unified negotiation for the
   entire portion of its local market for which retransmission consent is
   elected.

   (iv) A television broadcast station that receives a notification from a
   satellite carrier pursuant to paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section with
   respect to an upcoming election cycle may choose either retransmission
   consent or mandatory carriage for any portion of the 3-year election
   cycle that is not covered by an existing retransmission consent
   agreement.

   (6) Carriage after a market modification. Television broadcast stations
   that become eligible for mandatory carriage with respect to a satellite
   carrier (pursuant to § 76.66) due to a change in the market definition
   (by operation of a market modification pursuant to § 76.59) may, within
   30 days of the effective date of the new definition, elect
   retransmission consent or mandatory carriage with respect to such
   carrier. A satellite carrier shall commence carriage within 90 days of
   receiving the carriage election from the television broadcast station.
   The election must be made in accordance with the requirements in
   paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

   (e) Market definitions. (1) A local market, in the case of both
   commercial and noncommercial television broadcast stations, is the
   designated market area in which a station is located, unless such
   market is amended pursuant to § 76.59, and

   (i) In the case of a commercial television broadcast station, all
   commercial television broadcast stations licensed to a community within
   the same designated market area within the same local market; and

   (ii) In the case of a noncommercial educational television broadcast
   station, the market includes any station that is licensed to a
   community within the same designated market area as the noncommercial
   educational television broadcast station.

   (2) A designated market area is the market area, as determined by
   Nielsen Media Research and published in the 1999-2000 Nielsen Station
   Index Directory and Nielsen Station Index United States Television
   Household Estimates or any successor publication. In the case of areas
   outside of any designated market area, any census area, borough, or
   other area in the State of Alaska that is outside of a designated
   market area, as determined by Nielsen Media Research, shall be deemed
   to be part of one of the local markets in the State of Alaska.

   (3) A satellite carrier shall use the 1999-2000 Nielsen Station Index
   Directory and Nielsen Station Index United States Television Household
   Estimates to define television markets for the first retransmission
   consent-mandatory carriage election cycle commencing on January 1, 2002
   and ending on December 31, 2005. The 2003-2004 Nielsen Station Index
   Directory and Nielsen Station Index United States Television Household
   Estimates shall be used for the second retransmission consent-mandatory
   carriage election cycle commencing January 1, 2006 and ending December
   31, 2008, and so forth for each triennial election pursuant to this
   section. Provided, however, that a county deleted from a market by
   Nielsen need not be subtracted from a market in which a satellite
   carrier provides local-into-local service, if that county is assigned
   to that market in the 1999-2000 Nielsen Station Index Directory or any
   subsequent issue of that publication. A satellite carrier may determine
   which local market in the State of Alaska will be deemed to be the
   relevant local market in connection with each subscriber in an area in
   the State of Alaska that is outside of a designated market, as
   described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

   (4) A local market includes all counties to which stations assigned to
   that market are licensed.

   (f) Receive facilities. (1) A local receive facility is the reception
   point in each local market which a satellite carrier designates for
   delivery of the signal of the station for purposes of retransmission.

   (2) A satellite carrier may establish another receive facility to serve
   a market if the location of such a facility is acceptable to at least
   one-half the stations with carriage rights in that market.

   (3) Except as provided in 76.66(d)(2), a satellite carrier providing
   local-into-local service must notify local television stations of the
   location of the receive facility by June 1, 2001 for the first election
   cycle and at least 120 days prior to the commencement of all election
   cycles thereafter.

   (4) A satellite carrier may relocate its local receive facility at the
   commencement of each election cycle. A satellite carrier is also
   permitted to relocate its local receive facility during the course of
   an election cycle, if it bears the signal delivery costs of the
   television stations affected by such a move. A satellite carrier
   relocating its local receive facility must provide 60 days notice to
   all local television stations carried in the affected television
   market.

   (g) Good quality signal. (1) A television station asserting its right
   to carriage shall be required to bear the costs associated with
   delivering a good quality signal to the designated local receive
   facility of the satellite carrier or to another facility that is
   acceptable to at least one-half the stations asserting the right to
   carriage in the local market.

   (2) To be considered a good quality signal for satellite carriage
   purposes, a television station shall deliver to the local receive
   facility of a satellite carrier either a signal level of −45dBm for UHF
   signals or −49dBm for VHF signals at the input terminals of the signal
   processing equipment.

   (3) A satellite carrier is not required to carry a television station
   that does not agree to be responsible for the costs of delivering a
   good quality signal to the receive facility.

   (h) Duplicating signals. (1) A satellite carrier shall not be required
   to carry upon request the signal of any local television broadcast
   station that substantially duplicates the signal of another local
   television broadcast station which is secondarily transmitted by the
   satellite carrier within the same local market, or the signals of more
   than one local commercial television broadcast station in a single
   local market that is affiliated with a particular television network
   unless such stations are licensed to communities in different States.

   (2) A satellite carrier may select which duplicating signal in a market
   it shall carry.

   (3) A satellite carrier may select which network affiliate in a market
   it shall carry.

   (4) A satellite carrier is permitted to drop a local television station
   whenever that station meets the substantial duplication criteria set
   forth in this paragraph. A satellite carrier must add a television
   station to its channel line-up if such station no longer duplicates the
   programming of another local television station.

   (5) A satellite carrier shall provide notice to its subscribers, and to
   the affected television station, whenever it adds or deletes a
   station's signal in a particular local market pursuant to this
   paragraph.

   (6) A commercial television station substantially duplicates the
   programming of another commercial television station if it
   simultaneously broadcasts the identical programming of another station
   for more than 50 percent of the broadcast week.

   (7) A noncommercial television station substantially duplicates the
   programming of another noncommercial station if it simultaneously
   broadcasts the same programming as another noncommercial station for
   more than 50 percent of prime time, as defined by § 76.5(n), and more
   than 50 percent outside of prime time over a three month period,
   Provided, however, that after three noncommercial television stations
   are carried, the test of duplication shall be whether more than 50
   percent of prime time programming and more than 50 percent outside of
   prime time programming is duplicative on a non-simultaneous basis.

   (i) Channel positioning. (1) No satellite carrier shall be required to
   provide the signal of a local television broadcast station to
   subscribers in that station's local market on any particular channel
   number or to provide the signals in any particular order, except that
   the satellite carrier shall retransmit the signal of the local
   television broadcast stations to subscribers in the stations' local
   market on contiguous channels.

   (2) The television stations subject to this paragraph include those
   carried under retransmission consent.

   (3) All local television stations carried under mandatory carriage in a
   particular television market must be offered to subscribers at rates
   comparable to local television stations carried under retransmission
   consent in that same market.

   (4) Within a market, no satellite carrier shall provide
   local-into-local service in a manner that requires subscribers to
   obtain additional equipment at their own expense or for an additional
   carrier charge in order to obtain one or more local television
   broadcast signals if such equipment is not required for the receipt of
   other local television broadcast signals.

   (5) All television stations carried under mandatory carriage, in a
   particular market, shall be presented to subscribers in the same manner
   as television stations that elected retransmission consent, in that
   same market, on any navigational device, on-screen program guide, or
   menu provided by the satellite carrier.

   (j) Manner of carriage. (1) Each television station carried by a
   satellite carrier, pursuant to this section, shall include in its
   entirety the primary video, accompanying audio, and closed captioning
   data contained in line 21 of the vertical blanking interval and, to the
   extent technically feasible, program-related material carried in the
   vertical blanking interval or on subcarriers. For noncommercial
   educational television stations, a satellite carrier must also carry
   any program-related material that may be necessary for receipt of
   programming by persons with disabilities or for educational or language
   purposes. Secondary audio programming must also be carried. Where
   appropriate and feasible, satellite carriers may delete signal
   enhancements, such as ghost-canceling, from the broadcast signal and
   employ such enhancements at the local receive facility.

   (2) A satellite carrier, at its discretion, may carry any ancillary
   service transmission on the vertical blanking interval or the aural
   baseband of any television broadcast signal, including, but not limited
   to, multichannel television sound and teletext.

   (k) Material degradation. (1) Each local television station whose
   signal is carried under mandatory carriage shall, to the extent
   technically feasible and consistent with good engineering practice, be
   provided with the same quality of signal processing provided to
   television stations electing retransmission consent, including carriage
   of HD signals in HD if any local station in the same market is carried
   in HD. A satellite carrier is permitted to use reasonable digital
   compression techniques in the carriage of local television stations.

   (2) Satellite carriers must provide carriage of local stations' HD
   signals if any local station in the same market is carried in HD,
   pursuant to the following schedule:

   (i) In at least 15% of the markets in which they carry any station
   pursuant to the statutory copyright license in HD by February 17, 2010;

   (ii) In at least 30% of the markets in which they carry any station
   pursuant to the statutory copyright license in HD no later than
   February 17, 2011;

   (iii) In at least 60% of the markets in which they carry any station
   pursuant to the statutory copyright license in HD no later than
   February 17, 2012; and

   (iv) In 100% of the markets in which they carry any station pursuant to
   the statutory copyright license in HD by February 17, 2013.

   (l) Compensation for carriage. (1) A satellite carrier shall not accept
   or request monetary payment or other valuable consideration in exchange
   either for carriage of local television broadcast stations in
   fulfillment of the mandatory carriage requirements of this section or
   for channel positioning rights provided to such stations under this
   section, except that any such station may be required to bear the costs
   associated with delivering a good quality signal to the receive
   facility of the satellite carrier.

   (2) A satellite carrier may accept payments from a station pursuant to
   a retransmission consent agreement.

   (m) Remedies. (1) Whenever a local television broadcast station
   believes that a satellite carrier has failed to meet its obligations
   under this section, such station shall notify the carrier, in writing,
   of the alleged failure and identify its reasons for believing that the
   satellite carrier failed to comply with such obligations.

   (2) The satellite carrier shall, within 30 days after such written
   notification, respond in writing to such notification and comply with
   such obligations or state its reasons for believing that it is in
   compliance with such obligations.

   (3) A local television broadcast station that disputes a response by a
   satellite carrier that it is in compliance with such obligations may
   obtain review of such denial or response by filing a complaint with the
   Commission, in accordance with § 76.7 of title 47, Code of Federal
   Regulations. Such complaint shall allege the manner in which such
   satellite carrier has failed to meet its obligations and the basis for
   such allegations.

   (4) The satellite carrier against which a complaint is filed is
   permitted to present data and arguments to establish that there has
   been no failure to meet its obligations under this section.

   (5) The Commission shall determine whether the satellite carrier has
   met its obligations under this section. If the Commission determines
   that the satellite carrier has failed to meet such obligations, the
   Commission shall order the satellite carrier to take appropriate
   remedial action. If the Commission determines that the satellite
   carrier has fully met the requirements of this section, it shall
   dismiss the complaint.

   (6) The Commission will not accept any complaint filed later than 60
   days after a satellite carrier, either implicitly or explicitly, denies
   a television station's carriage request.

   (n) 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.

   (o) 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 satellite carrier local receive facility, or agreeing
   to be responsible for the costs of delivering such 1.0 signal to the
   satellite carrier.

   [ 66 FR 7430 , Jan. 23, 2001, as amended at  66 FR 49135 , Sept. 26, 2001;
    70 FR 21670 , Apr. 27, 2005;  70 FR 51668 , Aug. 31, 2005;  70 FR 53079 ,
   Sept. 7, 2005;  73 FR 24508 , May 5, 2008;  77 FR 30426 , May 23, 2012;  80 FR 59664 , Oct. 2, 2015;  83 FR 5028 , Feb. 2, 2018]

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