Goto Section: 73.3800 | 73.3999 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.3801
Revised as of September 24, 2020
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  73.3801   Full power television simulcasting during the ATSC 3.0 (Next Gen
TV) transition.

   (a) Simulcasting arrangements. For purposes of compliance with the
   simulcasting requirement in paragraph (b) of this section, a full power
   television station may partner with one or more other full power
   stations or with one or more Class A, LPTV, or TV translator stations
   in a simulcasting arrangement for purposes of airing either an ATSC 1.0
   or ATSC 3.0 signal on a host station's (i.e., a station whose
   facilities are being used to transmit programming originated by another
   station) facilities. Noncommercial educational television stations may
   participate in simulcasting arrangements with commercial stations.

   (1) A full power television station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0
   signal on the facilities of a Class A host station must comply with the
   rules governing power levels and interference applicable to Class A
   stations, and must comply in all other respects with the rules and
   policies applicable to full power television stations set forth in this
   part.

   (2) A full power television station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0
   signal on the facilities of a low power television or TV translator
   host station must comply with the rules of part 74 of this chapter
   governing power levels and interference applicable to low power
   television or TV translator stations, and must comply in all other
   respects with the rules and policies applicable to full power
   television stations set forth in this part.

   (3) A full power noncommercial educational television (NCE) station
   airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 signal on the facilities of a commercial
   television host station must comply with the rules applicable to NCE
   licensees.

   (b) Simulcasting requirement. A full power television station that
   chooses to air an ATSC 3.0 signal must simulcast the primary video
   programming stream of that signal in an ATSC 1.0 format. This
   requirement does not apply to any multicast streams aired on the ATSC
   3.0 channel.

   (1) The programming aired on the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal must be
   “substantially similar” to that aired on the ATSC 3.0 primary video
   programming stream. For purposes of this section, “substantially
   similar” means that the programming must be the same except for
   advertisements, promotions for upcoming programs, and programming
   features that are based on the enhanced capabilities of ATSC 3.0. These
   enhanced capabilities include:

   (i) Hyper-localized content (e.g., geo-targeted weather, targeted
   emergency alerts, and hyper-local news):

   (ii) Programming features or improvements created for the ATSC 3.0
   service (e.g., emergency alert “wake up” ability and interactive
   program features);

   (iii) Enhanced formats made possible by ATSC 3.0 technology (e.g., 4K
   or HDR); and

   (iv) Personalization of programming performed by the viewer and at the
   viewer's discretion.

   (2) For purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, programming that
   airs at a different time on the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal than on the
   primary video programming stream of the ATSC 3.0 signal is not
   considered “substantially similar.”

   (2) [Reserved]

   (3) The “substantially similar” requirement in paragraph (b)(1) of this
   section will sunset on July 17, 2023.

   (c) Coverage requirements for the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal. For full
   power broadcasters that elect temporarily to relocate their ATSC 1.0
   signal to the facilities of a host station for purposes of deploying
   ATSC 3.0 service (and that convert their existing facilities to ATSC
   3.0), the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal must continue to cover the
   station's entire community of license (i.e., the station must choose a
   host from whose transmitter site the Next Gen TV station will continue
   to meet the community of license signal requirement over its current
   community of license, as required by § 73.625) and the host station must
   be assigned to the same Designated Market Area (DMA) as the originating
   station (i.e., the station whose programming is being transmitted on
   the host station).

   (d) Coverage requirements for ATSC 3.0 signals. For full power
   broadcasters that elect to continue broadcasting in ATSC 1.0 on the
   station's existing facilities and transmit an ATSC 3.0 signal on the
   facilities of a host station, the ATSC 3.0 signal must be established
   on a host station assigned to the same DMA as the originating station.

   (e) Simulcasting agreements. (1) Simulcasting agreements must contain
   provisions outlining each licensee's rights and responsibilities
   regarding:

   (i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have
   unrestrained access to the host station's transmission facilities;

   (ii) Allocation of bandwidth within the host station's channel;

   (iii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities,
   including a list of all relevant equipment, a description of each
   party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice provisions;

   (iv) Conditions under which the simulcast agreement may be terminated,
   assigned or transferred; and

   (v) How a guest station's (i.e., a station originating programming that
   is being transmitted using the facilities of another station) signal
   may be transitioned off the host station.

   (2) Broadcasters must maintain a written copy of any simulcasting
   agreement and provide it to the Commission upon request.

   (f) Licensing of simulcasting stations and stations converting to ATSC
   3.0 operation. (1) Each station participating in a simulcasting
   arrangement pursuant to this section shall continue to be licensed and
   operated separately, have its own call sign, and be separately subject
   to all applicable Commission obligations, rules, and policies. ATSC 1.0
   and ATSC 3.0 signals aired on the facilities of a host station will be
   licensed as temporary second channels of the originating station. The
   Commission will include a note on the originating station's license
   identifying any ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 signal being aired on the
   facilities of a host station. The Commission will also include a note
   on a host station's license identifying any ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 guest
   signal(s) being aired on the facilities of the host station.

   (2) Application required. A full power broadcaster must file an
   application (FCC Form 2100) with the Commission, and receive Commission
   approval, before:

   (i) Moving its ATSC 1.0 signal to the facilities of a host station,
   moving that signal from the facilities of an existing host station to
   the facilities of a different host station, or discontinuing an ATSC
   1.0 guest signal;

   (ii) Commencing the airing of an ATSC 3.0 signal on the facilities of a
   host station (that has already converted to ATSC 3.0 operation), moving
   its ATSC 3.0 signal to the facilities of a different host station, or
   discontinuing an ATSC 3.0 guest signal; or

   (iii) Converting its existing station to transmit an ATSC 3.0 signal or
   converting the station from ATSC 3.0 back to ATSC 1.0 transmissions.

   (3) Streamlined process. With respect to any application in paragraph
   (f)(2) of this section, a full power broadcaster may file only an
   application for modification of license, provided no other changes are
   being requested in such application that would require the filing of an
   application for a construction permit as otherwise required by the
   rules (see, e.g., § 73.1690).

   (4) Host station. A host station must first make any necessary changes
   to its facilities before a guest station may file an application to air
   a 1.0 or 3.0 signal on such host.

   (5) Expedited processing. An application filed in accordance with the
   streamlined process in paragraph (f)(3) of this section will receive
   expedited processing provided, for stations requesting to air an ATSC
   1.0 signal on the facilities of a host station, the station will
   provide ATSC 1.0 service to at least 95 percent of the predicted
   population within the noise limited service contour of its original
   ATSC 1.0 facility.

   (6) Required information. (i) An application in paragraph (f)(2) of
   this section must include the following information:

   (A) The station serving as the host, if applicable;

   (B) The technical facilities of the host station, if applicable;

   (C) The DMA of the originating broadcaster's facility and the DMA of
   the host station, if applicable; and

   (D) Any other information deemed necessary by the Commission to process
   the application.

   (ii) If an application in paragraph (f)(2) of this section includes a
   request to air an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a host station,
   the broadcaster must, in addition to the information in paragraph
   (f)(6)(i), also indicate on the application:

   (A) The predicted population within the noise limited service contour
   served by the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal;

   (B) The predicted population within the noise limited service contour
   served by the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal that will lose the
   station's ATSC 1.0 service as a result of the simulcasting arrangement,
   including identifying areas of service loss by providing a contour
   overlap map; and

   (C) Whether the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal aired on the host station
   will serve at least 95 percent of the population in paragraph
   (f)(6)(ii)(A) of this section.

   (iii)(A) If an application in paragraph (f)(2) of this section includes
   a request to air an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a host station
   and does not meet the 95 percent standard in paragraph (f)(6)(ii) of
   this section, the application must contain, in addition to the
   information in paragraphs (f)(6)(i) and (ii) of this section, the
   following information:

   (1) Whether there is another possible host station(s) in the market
   that would result in less service loss to existing viewers and, if so,
   why the Next Gen TV broadcaster chose to partner with a host station
   creating a larger service loss;

   (2) What steps, if any, the station plans to take to minimize the
   impact of the service loss (e.g., providing ATSC 3.0 dongles, set-top
   boxes, or gateway devices to viewers in the loss area); and

   (3) The public interest benefits of the simulcasting arrangement and a
   showing of why the benefit(s) of granting the application would
   outweigh the harm(s).

   (B) These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

   (g) Consumer education for Next Gen TV stations. (1) Commercial and
   noncommercial educational stations that relocate their ATSC 1.0 signals
   (e.g., moving to a host station's facility, subsequently moving to a
   different host, or returning to its original facility) are required to
   air daily Public Service Announcements (PSAs) or crawls every day for
   30 days prior to the date that the stations will terminate ATSC 1.0
   operations on their existing facilities. Stations that transition
   directly to ATSC 3.0 will be required to air daily PSAs or crawls every
   day for 30 days prior to the date that the stations will terminate ATSC
   1.0 operations.

   (2) PSAs. Each PSA must be provided in the same language as a majority
   of the programming carried by the transitioning station and be
   closed-captioned.

   (3) Crawls. Each crawl must be provided in the same language as a
   majority of the programming carried by the transitioning station.

   (4) Content of PSAs or crawls. For stations relocating their ATSC 1.0
   signals or transitioning directly to ATSC 3.0, each PSA or crawl must
   provide all pertinent information to consumers.

   (h) Notice to MVPDs. (1) Next Gen TV stations relocating their ATSC 1.0
   signals (e.g., moving to a temporary host station's facilities,
   subsequently moving to a different host, or returning to its original
   facility) must provide notice to MVPDs that:

   (i) No longer will be required to carry the station's ATSC 1.0 signal
   due to the relocation; or

   (ii) Carry and will continue to be obligated to carry the station's
   ATSC 1.0 signal from the new location.

   (2) The notice required by this section must contain the following
   information:

   (i) Date and time of any ATSC 1.0 channel changes;

   (ii) The ATSC 1.0 channel occupied by the station before and after
   commencement of local simulcasting;

   (iii) Modification, if any, to antenna position, location, or power
   levels;

   (iv) Stream identification information; and

   (v) Engineering staff contact information.

   (3) If any of the information in paragraph (h)(2) of this section
   changes, an amended notification must be sent.

   (4)(i) Next Gen TV stations must provide notice as required by this
   section:

   (A) At least 120 days in advance of relocating their ATSC 1.0 signals
   if the relocation occurs during the post-incentive auction transition
   period; or

   (B) At least 90 days in advance of relocating their ATSC 1.0 signals if
   the relocation occurs after the post-incentive auction transition
   period (see 47 CFR 27.4).

   (ii) If the anticipated date of the ATSC 1.0 signal relocation changes,
   the station must send a further notice to affected MVPDs informing them
   of the new anticipated date.

   (5) Next Gen TV stations may choose whether to provide notice as
   required by this section either by a letter notification or
   electronically via email if the relevant MVPD agrees to receive such
   notices by email. Letter notifications to MVPDs must be sent by
   certified mail, return receipt requested to the MVPD's address in the
   FCC's Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), if the MVPD has an online
   file. For cable systems that do not have an online file, notices must
   be sent to the cable system's official address of record provided in
   the system's most recent filing in the FCC's Cable Operations and
   Licensing System (COALS). For MVPDs with no official address in OPIF or
   COALS, the letter must be sent to the MVPD's official corporate address
   registered with their State of incorporation.

   [ 83 FR 3801 , Feb. 2, 2018, as amended at  85 FR 43492 , July 17, 2020]

   


Goto Section: 73.3800 | 73.3999

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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