47 U.S.C. § 338 - Carriage of local television signals by satellite carriers

Cite as:47 U.S.C. § 338
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) Carriage obligations

(1) In general

Each satellite carrier providing, under section 122 of title 17, secondary transmissions to subscribers located within the local market of a television broadcast station of a primary transmission made by that station shall carry upon request the signals of all television broadcast stations located within that local market, subject to section 325(b) of this title.

(2) Remedies for failure to carry

In addition to the remedies available to television broadcast stations under section 501(f) of title 17, the Commission may use the Commission's authority under this chapter to assure compliance with the obligations of this subsection, but in no instance shall a Commission enforcement proceeding be required as a predicate to the pursuit of a remedy available under such section 501(f).

(3) Low power station carriage optional

No low power television station whose signals are provided under section 119(a)(14) 1 of title 17 shall be entitled to insist on carriage under this section, regardless of whether the satellite carrier provides secondary transmissions of the primary transmissions of other stations in the same local market pursuant to section 122 of such title, nor shall any such carriage be considered in connection with the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.

(4) Carriage of signals of local stations in certain markets

A satellite carrier that offers multichannel video programming distribution service in the United States to more than 5,000,000 subscribers shall (A) within 1 year after December 8, 2004, retransmit the signals originating as analog signals of each television broadcast station located in any local market within a State that is not part of the contiguous United States, and (B) within 30 months after December 8, 2004, retransmit the signals originating as digital signals of each such station. The retransmissions of such stations shall be made available to substantially all of the satellite carrier's subscribers in each station's local market, and the retransmissions of the stations in at least one market in the State shall be made available to substantially all of the satellite carrier's subscribers in areas of the State that are not within a designated market area. The cost to subscribers of such retransmissions shall not exceed the cost of retransmissions of local television stations in other States. Within 1 year after December 8, 2004, the Commission shall promulgate regulations concerning elections by television stations in such State between mandatory carriage pursuant to this section and retransmission consent pursuant to section 325(b) of this title, which shall take into account the schedule on which local television stations are made available to viewers in such State.

(5) Nondiscrimination in carriage of high definition signals of noncommercial educational television stations

(A) Existing carriage of high definition signals

If, before the date of enactment of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010, an eligible satellite carrier is providing, under section 122 of title 17, any secondary transmissions in high definition format to subscribers located within the local market of a television broadcast station of a primary transmission made by that station, then such satellite carrier shall carry the signals in high-definition format of qualified noncommercial educational television stations located within that local market in accordance with the following schedule:

(i) By December 31, 2010, in at least 50 percent of the markets in which such satellite carrier provides such secondary transmissions in high definition format.

(ii) By December 31, 2011, in every market in which such satellite carrier provides such secondary transmissions in high definition format.

(B) New initiation of service

If, on or after the date of enactment of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010, an eligible satellite carrier initiates the provision, under section 122 of title 17, of any secondary transmissions in high definition format to subscribers located within the local market of a television broadcast station of a primary transmission made by that station, then such satellite carrier shall carry the signals in high-definition format of all qualified noncommercial educational television stations located within that local market.

(b) Good signal required

(1) Costs

A television broadcast station asserting its right to carriage under subsection (a) shall be required to bear the costs associated with delivering a good quality signal to the designated local receive facility of the satellite carrier or to another facility that is acceptable to at least one-half the stations asserting the right to carriage in the local market.

(2) Regulations

The regulations issued under subsection (g) shall set forth the obligations necessary to carry out this subsection.

(c) Duplication not required

(1) Commercial stations

Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1), a satellite carrier shall not be required to carry upon request the signal of any local commercial television broadcast station that substantially duplicates the signal of another local commercial television broadcast station which is secondarily transmitted by the satellite carrier within the same local market, or to carry upon request the signals of more than one local commercial television broadcast station in a single local market that is affiliated with a particular television network unless such stations are licensed to communities in different States.

(2) Noncommercial stations

The Commission shall prescribe regulations limiting the carriage requirements under subsection (a) of satellite carriers with respect to the carriage of multiple local noncommercial television broadcast stations. To the extent possible, such regulations shall provide the same degree of carriage by satellite carriers of such multiple stations as is provided by cable systems under section 535 of this title.

(d) Channel positioning

No satellite carrier shall be required to provide the signal of a local television broadcast station to subscribers in that station's local market on any particular channel number or to provide the signals in any particular order, except that the satellite carrier shall retransmit the signal of the local television broadcast stations to subscribers in the stations' local market on contiguous channels and provide access to such station's signals at a nondiscriminatory price and in a nondiscriminatory manner on any navigational device, on-screen program guide, or menu.

(e) Compensation for carriage

A satellite carrier shall not accept or request monetary payment or other valuable consideration in exchange either for carriage of local television broadcast stations in fulfillment of the requirements of this section or for channel positioning rights provided to such stations under this section, except that any such station may be required to bear the costs associated with delivering a good quality signal to the local receive facility of the satellite carrier.

(f) Remedies

(1) Complaints by broadcast stations

Whenever a local television broadcast station believes that a satellite carrier has failed to meet its obligations under subsections (b) through (e) of this section, such station shall notify the carrier, in writing, of the alleged failure and identify its reasons for believing that the satellite carrier failed to comply with such obligations. The satellite carrier shall, within 30 days after such written notification, respond in writing to such notification and comply with such obligations or state its reasons for believing that it is in compliance with such obligations. A local television broadcast station that disputes a response by a satellite carrier that it is in compliance with such obligations may obtain review of such denial or response by filing a complaint with the Commission. Such complaint shall allege the manner in which such satellite carrier has failed to meet its obligations and the basis for such allegations.

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