FCC Moves To Update Broadcast Carriage Notice Rules

The FCC today continued taking steps to update to its notification rules for cable and satellite TV providers by proposing to change required notices to broadcast TV stations from paper to electronic delivery.

Currently, these rules require that cable and satellite TV providers distribute written notices to local TV stations by mail, certified mail, or hand delivery before taking certain actions. For example, cable operators must provide notice before commencing service in a market or deleting or repositioning a broadcast station. Similarly, satellite providers must give notice prior to retransmitting certain stations and launching new services into a market.

Consistent with the commission’s decision in a companion order adopted today to require electronic delivery of carriage election notices, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes to require that notices from a cable operator to a broadcast TV station be delivered via email to an inbox designated by the station in the online public inspection file (OPIF). The notice seeks comment on whether satellite TV providers similarly should be required to use email to deliver notices to broadcast TV stations.

In addition, the NPRM seeks comment on whether and how the proposal to require electronic delivery of notices can be applied to certain low-power TV and noncommercial translator stations that are not required to maintain an OPIF. Today’s proceeding is the 15th in the FCC’s ongoing effort to modernize its rules by eliminating or modifying regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome.

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