FCC Reminds Video Programming Distributors of Televised Emergency Information Accessibility Obligations; Distributors Must Make Televised Emergency Information Accessible to Persons Who Are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind or Visually Impaired
October 9, 2017 On September 28, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice reminding video programming distributors (“VPDs”), including cable operators and other distributors of video programming, of their obligation to make televised emergency information accessible, as required by FCC rules, to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired. The Public Notice also contains recommendations for compliance measures and a consumer’s guide to filing complaints.
FCC Extends MVPD EEO Form 396-C Filling Deadline to October 16, 2017
September 26, 2017 On September 14, 2017, the Media Bureau released a Public Notice extending the deadline by which multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”), including cable operators, must electronically file Form 396-C, the FCC’s MVPD Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Program Annual Report. Typically due by September 30th of each year, the deadline for submission was extended this year to October 16, 2017 due to technical difficulties. To file Form 396-C, login to the Media Bureau’s CDBS Electronic Filing System .
FINAL FILING REMINDER: Copyright Forms and Fees Due by August 29, 2017
August 29, 2017 Cable operators must file with the U.S. Copyright Office their Statement of Accounts (Form SA1-2 or SA3) and pay any royalty fees due for the January 2017 – June 2017 accounting period by August 29, 2017.
FCC Increases Amount of Required Video Described Programming for MVPDs
August 1, 2017 On July 12, 2017, the FCC released an Order increasing the amount of video described programming on top-rated broadcast and non-broadcast networks that must be carried from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5 hours per quarter. Covered broadcast stations and multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) must start providing the additional hours of video description in the calendar quarter beginning on July 1, 2018.
FCC Reinstates CPNI Privacy Regulations, Including Annual Compliance Certification
July 10, 2017 On June 29, 2017, the FCC released an Order (“Order”) affirming that its customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) rules governing govern the privacy obligations of telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers, are again in effect.
MVPDs Must Act Quickly to Be Eligible to Receive Reimbursement for Repacking Costs Due to Broadcast Incentive Auction; July 12, 2017 Is When First MVPD Filing Due
June 29, 2017 On April 13, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the conclusion of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction and the start of the 39-month post-auction transition period. Over the next three years, more than 1,000 broadcast stations across the country will be moving to new channels to make room for more mobile wireless services in the upper end of the band. Congress provided for a reimbursement fund of $1.75 billion, which gives repacked broadcasters and MVPDs alike the opportunity to recover the costs of making the necessary changes, but immediate steps must be taken by MVPDs to ensure their eligibility for reimbursement. The reimbursement fund is limited and is widely expected to run out before covering all eligible expenses, making a timely initial MVPD reimbursement filing imperative.