FCC to Streamline Retransmission Consent Notification

Under the Communications Act, TV broadcasters engage in a  process through which they notify covered multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), such as cable and satellite TV companies, of whether they wish to elect mandatory carriage or negotiate for retransmission consent. Notifications must be sent every three years by certified mail.  At it’s July meeting the FCC is scheduled to adopt new notification rules.

The FCC’s proposed Report and Order would:

  • Modify the triennial election notification process for commercial TV broadcasters. Instead of notifying MVPDs of their election via certified mail, broadcasters will now upload their election to their public files every three years and notify these companies via e-mail only if they decide to change the election from the previous cycle. These e-mails must be carbon copied to the Commission at ElectionNotices@FCC.gov.
  • Modify the Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) triennial notification process for noncommercial educational (NCE) stations. Instead of mailing triennial carriage requests to DBS operators via certified mail, return receipt requested, NCE stations will now upload a request for carriage to their public files and retain this statement in their public files for the duration of the period to which it applies. New requests for carriage by NCEs will be sent to MVPDs by e-mail.
  • Require covered broadcasters and MVPDs to maintain a designated carriage election phone number and e-mail address and require MVPDs to verify receipt of carriage e-mails they receive from stations.

The FCC will also be asking for additional comment regarding how to apply these rules to the covered broadcasters and MVPDs that do not maintain files in the Commission’s public databases.

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