Modification to TV Must-Carry Election Procedures Expected

Posted on June 28th, 2019 by

At its July 10 Open Meeting, the FCC will consider a draft Report & Order to modify how television stations elect between retransmission consent and mandatory carriage on cable and DBS systems every three years.

If adopted as drafted, instead of notifying systems of their election via certified mail, stations would upload their elections to their public files every three years and notify cable/DBS systems via e-mail only if they decided to change their election from the previous cycle. As part of the process, stations and cable/DBS systems would be required to maintain a designated carriage election phone number and e-mail address on the main page of their online public file, and cable/DBS systems would have to verify receipt of carriage e-mails they receive from stations.

Any election e-mailed to cable/DBS providers would be carbon copied to a dedicated FCC email address.

The FCC anticipates that the new system will be used for the 2021-2023 carriage election cycle, with July 31, 2020 being the deadline for broadcasters and cable/DBS systems to provide their carriage phone/e-mail information. The carriage election deadline would remain the same, October 1, 2020.