Goto Section: 73.6028 | 73.7000 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.6029
Revised as of September 17, 2020
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  73.6029   Class A 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 Class A
   television station may partner with one or more other Class A stations
   or with one or more full power, 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.

   (1) A Class A television station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 signal
   on the facilities of a full power host station must comply with the
   rules of Part 73 of this chapter governing power levels and
   interference, and must comply in all other respects with the rules and
   policies applicable to Class A television stations, as set forth in
   this subpart.

   (2) A Class A 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 that are applicable to low power
   television or TV translator stations, and must comply in all other
   respects with the rules and policies applicable to Class A television
   stations, as set forth in this subpart.

   (b) Simulcasting requirement. A Class A 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.”

   (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 Class
   A 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
   station:

   (1) Must maintain overlap between the protected contour (§ 73.6010(c))
   of its existing signal and its ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal;

   (2) May not relocate its ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal more than 30 miles
   from the reference coordinates of the relocating station's existing
   antenna location; and

   (3) Must select a host station assigned to the same 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 Class A
   broadcasters that elect to continue broadcasting in ATSC 1.0 from 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 a host 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 Class A 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 an application in paragraph
   (f)(2) of this section, a Class A 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
   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 protected contour served by the
   station's original ATSC 1.0 signal;

   (B) The predicted population within the protected 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) Class A stations
   that relocate their ATSC 1.0 signals (e.g., moving to a host station's
   facilities, subsequently moving to a different host, or returning to
   its original facility) will be 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.

   (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 may 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 5024 , Feb. 2, 2018, as amended at  85 FR 43492 , July 17, 2020]

   

Subpart K—Application and Selection Procedures for Reserved Noncommercial
Educational Channels, and for Certain Applications for Noncommercial
Educational Stations on Non-Reserved Channels

   Source:  65 FR 36380 , June 8, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

   


Goto Section: 73.6028 | 73.7000

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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