LPTV Must-Carry Checklist

Does your LPTV station qualify for Must-Carry? FCC Rule §76.56 requires Cable Systems to carry “Qualified” LPTV stations. To be a Qualified station, FCC rule §76.55 outlines the criteria.

If your station can complete this checklist, you should request Must-Carry:

  • The LPTV station must be located in a county (or equivalent subdivision) where there is no Full Power TV Station licensed to any community within that county. This county is the county that the Must-Carry rights would be claimed.
  • In 1990, this county must have been outside of the top 160 official “Metropolitan Statistical Areas”, and that population, in 1990, did not exceed 35,000.
  • The LPTV transmitter must be within 35 miles of the “Principal Headend” of the Cable System
  • The LPTV station must deliver a strong (or “good quality”) signal to the Headend.
  • It must be demonstrated, then later agreed by the FCC, that the local news and informational needs are being met by the LPTV station and are not being met by any Full Power stations because of distance.
  • The LPTV station complies with all rules applicable to LPTV stations (specifically interference, political/election and EEO Rules).
  • The LPTV station must operate at least 28 hours per week, and at least 2 hours a day.
  • Follow Full Power Station rules relating to broadcast of non entertainment programming. This likely includes a Community Needs and Issues List.
  • Follow Full Power Station rules relating to controversial issues of public importance
  • Follow Full Power Station rules relating to editorials
  • Follow Full Power Station rules relating to personal attacks
  • Follow Full Power Station rules relating to programming for children

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