U.S. Code, Title 47, Telegraphs, Telephones, and Radiotelegraphs

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Author: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel"

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§ 338. Carriage of Local Television Signals by Satellite Carriers

(a) Carriage obligations

(1) In general

     Subject to the limitations of paragraph (2), 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

     The remedies for any failure to meet the obligations under this subsection shall be available exclusively under section 501(f) of title 17.

(3) Effective date

     No satellite carrier shall be required to carry local television broadcast stations under paragraph (1) until January 1, 2002.

(b) Good signal required

(1) Costs

     A television broadcast station asserting its right to carriage under subsection (a) of this section 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) of this section shall set forth the obligations necessary to carry out this subsection.

(c) Duplication not required

(1) Commercial stations

     Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, 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 this section 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.

(2) Opportunity to respond

     The Commission shall afford the satellite carrier against which a complaint is filed under paragraph (1) an opportunity to present data and arguments to establish that there has been no failure to meet its obligations under this section.

(3) Remedial actions; dismissal

     Within 120 days after the date a complaint is filed under paragraph (1), the Commission shall determine whether the satellite carrier has met its obligations under subsections (b) through (e) of this section. If the Commission determines that the satellite carrier has failed to meet such obligations, the Commission shall order the satellite carrier to take appropriate remedial action. If the Commission determines that the satellite carrier has fully met the requirements of such subsections, the Commission shall dismiss the complaint.

(g) Regulations by Commission

     Within 1 year after November 29, 1999, the Commission shall issue regulations implementing this section following a rulemaking proceeding. The regulations prescribed under this section shall include requirements on satellite carriers that are comparable to the requirements on cable operators under sections 534(b)(3) and (4) and 535(g)(1) and (2) of this title.

(h) Definitions

     As used in this section:

(1) Distributor

     The term "distributor" means an entity which contracts to distribute secondary transmissions from a satellite carrier and, either as a single channel or in a package with other programming, provides the secondary transmission either directly to individual subscribers or indirectly through other program distribution entities.

(2) Local receive facility

     The term "local receive facility" means the reception point in each local market which a satellite carrier designates for delivery of the signal of the station for purposes of retransmission.

(3) Local market

     The term "local market" has the meaning given that term under section 122(j) of title 17.

(4) Satellite carrier

     The term "satellite carrier" has the meaning given such term under section 119(d) of title 17.

(5) Secondary transmission

     The term "secondary transmission" has the meaning given such term in section 119(d) of title 17.

(6) Subscriber

     The term "subscriber" has the meaning given that term under section 122(j) of title 17.

(7) Television broadcast station

     The term "television broadcast station" has the meaning given such term in section 325(b)(7) of this title.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, § 338, as added Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, § 1000(a)(9) [title I, § 1008(a)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–531.)

Rural Local Television Signals

     Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, § 1000(a)(9) [title II], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–544, provided that:

"SEC. 2001. SHORT TITLE.

     "This title may be cited as the `Rural Local Broadcast Signal Act’.

"SEC. 2002. LOCAL TELEVISION SERVICE IN UNSERVED AND UNDERSERVED MARKETS.

     "(a) In General.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999], the Federal Communications Commission (`the Commission’) shall take all actions necessary to make a determination regarding licenses or other authorizations for facilities that will utilize, for delivering local broadcast television station signals to satellite television subscribers in unserved and underserved local television markets, spectrum otherwise allocated to commercial use.

     "(b) Rules.—

"(1) Form of business.—To the extent not inconsistent with the Communications Act of 1934 [47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.] and the Commission’s rules, the Commission shall permit applicants under subsection (a) to engage in partnerships, joint ventures, and similar operating arrangements for the purpose of carrying out subsection (a).

"(2) Harmful interference.—The Commission shall ensure that no facility licensed or authorized under subsection (a) causes harmful interference to the primary users of that spectrum or to public safety spectrum use.

"(3) Limitation on commission.—Except as provided in paragraphs (1) and (2), the Commission may not restrict any entity granted a license or other authorization under subsection (a) from using any reasonable compression, reformatting, or other technology.

     "(c) Report.—Not later than January 1, 2001, the Commission shall report to the Agriculture, Appropriations, and the Judiciary Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce [now Committee on Energy and Commerce], on the extent to which licenses and other authorizations under subsection (a) have facilitated the delivery of local signals to satellite television subscribers in unserved and underserved local television markets. The report shall include—

"(1) an analysis of the extent to which local signals are being provided by direct-to-home satellite television providers and by other multichannel video program distributors;

"(2) an enumeration of the technical, economic, and other impediments each type of multichannel video programming distributor has encountered; and

"(3) recommendations for specific measures to facilitate the provision of local signals to subscribers in unserved and underserved markets by direct-to-home satellite television providers and by other distributors of multichannel video programming service."

Section Referred to in Other Sections

     This section is referred to in section 325 of this title; title 17 section 501.

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Chicago: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel", "§ 338. Carriage of Local Television Signals by Satellite Carriers," U.S. Code, Title 47, Telegraphs, Telephones, and Radiotelegraphs in U.S. Code, Title 47, Telegraphs, Telephones, and Radiotelegraphs (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2002), Original Sources, accessed September 29, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3VWZ9CKDCE4A5WH.

MLA: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel". "§ 338. Carriage of Local Television Signals by Satellite Carriers." U.S. Code, Title 47, Telegraphs, Telephones, and Radiotelegraphs, in U.S. Code, Title 47, Telegraphs, Telephones, and Radiotelegraphs, Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 2002, Original Sources. 29 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3VWZ9CKDCE4A5WH.

Harvard: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel", '§ 338. Carriage of Local Television Signals by Satellite Carriers' in U.S. Code, Title 47, Telegraphs, Telephones, and Radiotelegraphs. cited in 2002, U.S. Code, Title 47, Telegraphs, Telephones, and Radiotelegraphs, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.. Original Sources, retrieved 29 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3VWZ9CKDCE4A5WH.