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FCC Grants NCE Waiver for MVPD Carriage Notices

(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—Qualified noncommercial educational (NCE) TV translator stations will not be required to send an email notification regarding carriage to MVPDs by Oct. 1, as the FCC has officially granted a petition on the matter.

America’s Public Television Stations (APTV) and PBS filed a joint petition to the FCC about its newly adopted MVPD carriage election notice requirements, which would have required NCE translator stations, as well as qualified LPTV stations, to email a “baseline” carriage notice to any MVPDs on which they were seeking or expecting carriage during the 2021-2023 carriage cycle. The deadline to do so was going to be Oct. 1.

The petition argued that sending such emails would result in a “substantial burden” for NCE stations, and as a result the requirement should be waived. Key to their arguments were that the NCE translator stations do not originate programming, but rather rebroadcast of NCE full-power TV stations; that NCEs may only elect “must carry” options for MVPDs, while LPTVs can select either “must carry” or retransmission consent; also, in many cases, NCEs do not know which MVPDs are carrying them and there is no resource to easily determine the information. Ultimately, emailing MVPDs provides no benefit, the petition argued, but could result in loss of service in the event that an NCE fails to provide proper notice.

“Given the unique characteristics of NCE translators, the public interest would be best served by waiving the baseline email notification requirement for NCE translators adopted in the 2020 Report and Order,” the FCC said.

The petition went unopposed by MVPDs.

The FCC added that email requirements are still in place for all qualified LPTV stations.

For more information, the full FCC document is available online