FCC OKs MVPDs Using Email Notifications

WASHINGTON—Cable and satellite operators won’t be required to lick any more stamps when it comes to sending out certain required notices to TV stations, as the FCC has unanimously voted to allow MVPDs to send notices as emails rather than as traditional paper notifications.

Under previous rules, cable and satellite TV providers had to submit paper notifications to local TV stations before taking certain actions, like launching in a new market, deleting or repositioning a station in the channel lineup or retransmitting certain stations. With the new rules, these notifications can be sent out via email.

Stations that have an online public inspection file will receive the electronic notifications in the inbox used for communications related to the election of must carry/retransmission consent status. Stations without a public file will receive notifications via their general inbox.

This result is said to be part of the FCC’s Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative led by Chairman Ajit Pai, which seeks to eliminate or modify media regulations that are “outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome,” per the commission. It was first proposed in July 2019.

Chairman Pai and all of the FCC commissioners (Michael O’Rielly, Jessica Rosenworcel, Brendan Carr and Geoffrey Starks) all voted for the update.