Goto Section: 76.62 | 76.65 | Table of Contents
Revised as of September 17, 2020
Goto Year:2020 |
§ 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
(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
(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
(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 if the
station is required to maintain a 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
ElectionNotices@FCC.gov. 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
(5) Low power television stations and non-commercial educational
translator stations that are qualified under § 76.55 and retransmitted
by a multichannel video programming distributor shall, beginning no
later than July 31, 2020, respond as soon as is reasonably possible to
messages or calls from multichannel video programming distributors that
are received via the email address or phone number the station provides
in the Commission's Licensing and Management System.
(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 except as provided in this paragraph (k), at least 60
days prior to commencing cable service. After July 31, 2020, the cable
operator must send such notification by electronic delivery in
accordance with § 76.1600. 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
paragraph (f)(2) of this section. 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
(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; 85 FR 16005 , Mar. 19, 2020; 85 FR 22651 , Apr. 23, 2020; 85 FR 44217 , July 22,
Goto Section: 76.62 | 76.65
Goto Year: 2020 |
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