Goto Section: 76.62 | 76.65 | Table of Contents

FCC 76.64
Revised as of January 16, 2020
Goto Year:2019 | 2021
  § 76.64   Retransmission consent.

   (a) No multichannel video programming distributor shall retransmit the
   signal of any commercial broadcasting station without the express
   authority of the originating station, except as provided in paragraph
   (b) of this section.

   (b) A commercial broadcast signal may be retransmitted without express
   authority of the originating station if—

   (1) The distributor is a cable system and the signal is that of a
   commercial television station (including a low-power television
   station) that is being carried pursuant to the Commission's must-carry
   rules set forth in § 76.56;

   (2) The multichannel video programming distributor obtains the signal
   of a superstation that is distributed by a satellite carrier and the
   originating station was a superstation on May 1, 1991, and the
   distribution is made only to areas outside the local market of the
   originating station; or

   (3) The distributor is a satellite carrier and the signal is
   transmitted directly to a home satellite antenna, provided that:

   (i) The broadcast station is not owned or operated by, or affiliated
   with, a broadcasting network and its signal was retransmitted by a
   satellite carrier on May 1, 1991, or

   (ii) The broadcast station is owned or operated by, or affiliated with
   a broadcasting network, and the household receiving the signal is an
   unserved household. This paragraph shall terminate at midnight on
   December 31, 2019, provided that if Congress further extends this date,
   the rules remain in effect until the statutory authorization expires.

   (c) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

   (1) A satellite carrier is an entity that uses the facilities of a
   satellite or satellite service licensed by the Federal Communications
   Commission, 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 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) A superstation is a television broadcast station other than a
   network station, licensed by the Federal Communications Commission that
   is secondarily transmitted by a satellite carrier;

   (3) An unserved household with respect to a television network is a
   household that

   (i) Cannot receive, through the use of a conventional outdoor rooftop
   receiving antenna, an over-the-air signal of grade B intensity of a
   primary network station affiliated with that network, and

   (ii) Has not, within 90 days before the date on which that household
   subscribes, either initially or on renewal, received secondary
   transmissions by a satellite carrier of a network station affiliated
   with that network, subscribed to a cable system that provides the
   signal of a primary network station affiliated with the network.

   (4) A primary network station is a network station that broadcasts or
   rebroadcasts the basic programming service of a particular national

   (5) The terms “network station,” and “secondary transmission” have the
   meanings given them in 17 U.S.C. 111(f).

   (d) A multichannel video program distributor is an entity such as, but
   not limited to, a cable operator, a BRS/EBS provider, a direct
   broadcast satellite service, a television receive-only satellite
   program distributor, or a satellite master antenna television system
   operator, that makes available for purchase, by subscribers or
   customers, multiple channels of video programming.

   (e) The retransmission consent requirements of this section are not
   applicable to broadcast signals received by master antenna television
   facilities or by direct over-the-air reception in conjunction with the
   provision of service by a multichannel video program distributor
   provided that the multichannel video program distributor makes
   reception of such signals available without charge and at the
   subscribers option and provided further that the antenna facility used
   for the reception of such signals is either owned by the subscriber or
   the building owner; or under the control and available for purchase by
   the subscriber or the building owner upon termination of service.

   (f) Commercial television stations are required to make elections
   between retransmission consent and must-carry status according to the
   following schedule:

   (1) The initial election must be made by June 17, 1993.

   (2) Subsequent elections must be made at three year intervals; the
   second election must be made by October 1, 1996 and will take effect on
   January 1, 1997; the third election must be made by October 1, 1999 and
   will take effect on January 1, 2000, etc.

   (3) Television stations that fail to make an election by the specified
   deadline will be deemed to have elected must carry status for the
   relevant three-year period.

   (4) New television stations and stations that return their analog
   spectrum allocation and broadcast in digital only shall make their
   initial election any time between 60 days prior to commencing broadcast
   and 30 days after commencing broadcast or commencing broadcasting in
   digital only; such initial election shall take effect 90 days after it
   is made.

   (5) Television broadcast stations that become eligible for must carry
   status with respect to a cable system or systems due to a change in the
   market definition may, within 30 days of the effective date of the new
   definition, elect must-carry status with respect to such system or
   systems. Such elections shall take effect 90 days after they are made.

   (g) If one or more franchise areas served by a cable system overlaps
   with one or more franchise areas served by another cable system,
   television broadcast stations are required to make the same election
   for both cable systems.

   (h)(1) On or before each must-carry/retransmission consent election
   deadline, each television broadcast station shall place a copy of its
   election statement, and copies of any election change notices applying
   to the upcoming carriage cycle, in the station's public file.

   (2) Each cable operator shall, no later than July 31, 2020, provide an
   up-to-date email address for carriage election notice submissions with
   respect to its systems and an up-to-date phone number for
   carriage-related questions. Each cable operator is responsible for the
   continuing accuracy and completeness of the information furnished. It
   must respond to questions from broadcasters as soon as is reasonably

   (3) A station shall send a notice of its election to a cable operator
   only if changing its election with respect to one or more of that
   operator's systems. Such notice shall be sent to the email address
   provided by the cable system and carbon copied to A notice must include, with respect to each
   station referenced in the notice, the:

   (i) Call sign;

   (ii) Community of license;

   (iii) DMA where the station is located;

   (iv) Specific change being made in election status;

   (v) Email address for carriage-related questions;

   (vi) Phone number for carriage-related questions;

   (vii) Name of the appropriate station contact person; and,

   (viii) If the station changes its election for some systems of the
   cable operator but not all, the specific cable systems for which a
   carriage election applies.

   (4) Cable operators must respond via email as soon as is reasonably
   possible, acknowledging receipt of a television station's election

   (i) Notwithstanding a television station's election of must-carry
   status, if a cable operator proposes to retransmit that station's
   signal without according the station must-carry rights (i.e., pursuant
   to § 76.56(e)), the operator must obtain the station's express authority
   prior to retransmitting its signal.

   (j) Retransmission consent agreements between a broadcast station and a
   multichannel video programming distributor shall be in writing and
   shall specify the extent of the consent being granted, whether for the
   entire signal or any portion of the signal. This rule applies for
   either the analog or the digital signal of a television station.

   (k) A cable system commencing new operation is required to notify all
   local commercial and noncommercial broadcast stations of its intent to
   commence service. The cable operator must send such notification, by
   certified mail, at least 60 days prior to commencing cable service.
   Commercial broadcast stations must notify the cable system within 30
   days of the receipt of such notice of their election for either
   must-carry or retransmission consent with respect to such new cable
   system. If the commercial broadcast station elects must-carry, it must
   also indicate its channel position in its election statement to the
   cable system. Such election shall remain valid for the remainder of any
   three-year election interval, as established in § 76.64(f)(2).
   Noncommercial educational broadcast stations should notify the cable
   operator of their request for carriage and their channel position. The
   new cable system must notify each station if its signal quality does
   not meet the standards for carriage and if any copyright liability
   would be incurred for the carriage of such signal. Pursuant to
   § 76.57(e), a commercial broadcast station which fails to respond to
   such a notice shall be deemed to be a must-carry station for the
   remainder of the current three-year election period.

   (l) Exclusive retransmission consent agreements are prohibited. No
   television broadcast station shall make or negotiate any agreement with
   one multichannel video programming distributor for carriage to the
   exclusion of other multichannel video programming distributors. This
   paragraph shall terminate at midnight on January 1, 2020, provided that
   if Congress further extends this date, the rules remain in effect until
   the statutory authorization expires.

   (m) A multichannel video programming distributor providing an all-band
   FM radio broadcast service (a service that does not involve the
   individual processing of specific broadcast signals) shall obtain
   retransmission consents from all FM radio broadcast stations that are
   included on the service that have transmitters located within 92
   kilometers (57 miles) of the receiving antenna for such service.
   Stations outside of this 92 kilometer (57 miles) radius shall be
   presumed not to be carried in an all-band reception mode but may
   affirmatively assert retransmission consent rights by providing 30 days
   advance notice to the distributor.

   Note 1 to § 76.64: Section 76.1608 provides notification requirements
   for a cable system that changes its technical configuration in such a
   way as to integrate two formerly separate cable systems.

   [ 58 FR 17363 , Apr. 2, 1993, as amended at  59 FR 62345 , Dec. 5, 1994;  65 FR 15575 , Mar. 23, 2000;  65 FR 53615 , Sept. 5, 2000;  66 FR 16553 , Mar.
   26, 2001;  67 FR 17015 , Apr. 9, 2002;  69 FR 72045 , Dec. 10, 2004;  70 FR 40224 , July 13, 2005;  74 FR 69286 , Dec. 31, 2009;  80 FR 11330 , Mar. 3,
   2015;  83 FR 7626 , Feb. 22, 2018;  84 FR 45669 , Aug. 30, 2019]

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Goto Section: 76.62 | 76.65

Goto Year: 2019 | 2021
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