Goto Section: 73.616 | 73.622 | Table of Contents
Revised as of November 24, 2020
Goto Year:2020 |
§ 73.621 Noncommercial educational TV stations.
In addition to the other provisions of this subpart, the following
shall be applicable to noncommercial educational television broadcast
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, noncommercial
educational broadcast stations will be licensed only to nonprofit
educational organizations upon a showing that the proposed stations
will be used primarily to serve the educational needs of the community;
for the advancement of educational programs; and to furnish a nonprofit
and noncommercial television broadcast service.
(1) In determining the eligibility of publicly supported educational
organizations, the accreditation of their respective state departments
of education shall be taken into consideration.
(2) In determining the eligibility of privately controlled educational
organizations, the accreditation of state departments of education or
recognized regional and national educational accrediting organizations
shall be taken into consideration.
(b) Where a municipality or other political subdivision has no
independently constituted educational organization such as, for
example, a board of education having autonomy with respect to carrying
out the municipality's educational program, such municipality shall be
eligible for a noncommercial educational television broadcast station.
In such circumstances, a full and detailed showing must be made that a
grant of the application will be consistent with the intent and purpose
of the Commission's rules and regulations relating to such stations.
(c) Noncommercial educational television broadcast stations may
transmit educational, cultural and entertainment programs, and programs
designed for use by schools and school systems in connection with
regular school courses, as well as routine and administrative material
(d) A noncommercial educational television station may broadcast
programs produced by or at the expense of, or furnished by persons
other than the licensee, if no other consideration than the furnishing
of the program and the costs incidental to its production and broadcast
are received by the licensee. The payment of line charges by another
station, network, or someone other than the licensee of a noncommercial
educational television station, or general contributions to the
operating costs of a station, shall not be considered as being
prohibited by this paragraph.
(e) Each station shall furnish a nonprofit and noncommercial broadcast
service. Noncommercial educational television stations shall be subject
to the provisions of § 73.1212 to the extent that they are applicable to
the broadcast of programs produced by, or at the expense of, or
furnished by others. No promotional announcements on behalf of for
profit entities shall be broadcast at any time in exchange for the
receipt, in whole or in part, of consideration to the licensee, its
principals, or employees. However, acknowledgements of contributions
can be made. The scheduling of any announcements and acknowledgements
may not interrupt regular programming, except as permitted under
paragraph (f) of this section.
Note to paragraph (e): Commission interpretation of this rule,
including the acceptable form of acknowledgements, may be found in the
Second Report and Order in Docket No. 21136 (Commission Policy
Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcast Stations),
86 F.C.C. 2d 141 (1981); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket No.
21136, 90 FCC 2d 895 (1982); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket
21136, 49 FR 13534 , April 5, 1984; and the Report and Order in Docket
No. 12-106 (Noncommercial Educational Station Fundraising for
Third-Party Non-Profit Organizations), FCC 17-41, April 20, 2017.
(f) A noncommercial educational television station may interrupt
regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a
third-party non-profit organization, provided that all such fundraising
activities conducted during any given year do not exceed one percent of
the station's total annual airtime. A station may use the prior year's
total airtime for purposes of determining how many hours constitute one
percent of its total annual airtime. With respect to stations that
multicast programming on two or more separate channels, the one-percent
annual limit will apply separately to each individual programming
stream. For purposes of this paragraph, a non-profit organization is an
entity that qualifies as a non-profit organization under 26 U.S.C.
(1) Audience disclosure. A noncommercial educational television station
that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities
on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization must air a
disclosure during such activities clearly stating that the fundraiser
is not for the benefit of the station itself and identifying the entity
for which it is fundraising. The station must air the audience
disclosure at the beginning and the end of each fundraising program and
at least once during each hour in which the program is on the air.
(2) Reimbursement. A noncommercial educational television station that
interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on
behalf of a third-party non-profit organization may accept
reimbursement of expenses incurred in conducting third-party
fundraising activities or airing third-party fundraising programs.
(3) Exemption. No noncommercial educational television station that
receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting shall
have the authority to interrupt regular programming to conduct
fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit
(g) Telecommunications Service on the Vertical Blanking Interval and in
the Visual Signal. The provisions governing VBI and visual signal
telecommunications service in § 73.646 are applicable to noncommercial
educational TV stations.
(h) Non-program related data signals transmitted on Line 21 pursuant to
§ 73.682(a)(22)(ii) may be used for remunerative purposes.
(i) Mutually exclusive applications for noncommercial educational TV
stations operating on reserved channels shall be resolved pursuant to
the point system in subpart K.
(j) With respect to the provision of advanced television services, the
requirements of this section will apply to the entire digital bitstream
of noncommercial educational television stations, including the
provision of ancillary or supplementary services.
[ 28 FR 13660 , Dec. 14, 1963, as amended at 35 FR 7558 , May 15, 1970; 47 FR 36179 , Aug. 19, 1982; 48 FR 27068 , June 13, 1983; 49 FR 29069 , July
18, 1984; 50 FR 4664 , Feb. 1, 1985; 50 FR 4684 , Feb. 1, 1985; 61 FR 36304 , July 10, 1996; 65 FR 36378 , June 8, 2000; 66 FR 58982 , Nov. 26,
2001; 82 FR 21135 , May 5, 2017]
Goto Section: 73.616 | 73.622
Goto Year: 2020 |
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