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Title 47

Displaying title 47, up to date as of 9/22/2021. Title 47 was last amended 9/22/2021.

Title 47

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Subpart G - Cablecasting
§ 76.205 Origination cablecasts by legally qualified candidates for public office; equal opportunities.

(a) General requirements. No cable television system is required to permit the use of its facilities by any legally qualified candidate for public office, but if any system shall permit any such candidate to use its facilities, it shall afford equal opportunities to all other candidates for that office to use such facilities. Such system shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast by any such candidate. Appearance by a legally qualified candidate on any:

(1) Bona fide newscast;

(2) Bona fide news interview;

(3) Bona fide news documentary (if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or subjects covered by the news documentary); or

(4) On-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events (including, but not limited to political conventions and activities incidental thereto) shall not be deemed to be use of a system. (section 315(a) of the Communications Act.)

(b) Uses. As used in this section and § 76.206, the term “use” means a candidate appearance (including by voice or picture) that is not exempt under paragraphs 76.205 (a)(1) through (a)(4) of this section.

(c) Timing of request. A request for equal opportunities must be submitted to the system within 1 week of the day on which the first prior use giving rise to the right of equal opportunities occurred: Provided, however, That where the person was not a candidate at the time of such first prior use, he or she shall submit his or her request within 1 week of the first subsequent use after he or she has become a legally qualified candidate for the office in question.

(d) Burden of proof. A candidate requesting equal opportunities of the system or complaining of noncompliance to the Commission shall have the burden of proving that he or she and his or her opponent are legally qualified candidates for the same public office.

(e) Discrimination between candidates. In making time available to candidates for public office, no system shall make any discrimination between candidates in practices, regulations, facilities, or services for or in connection with the service rendered pursuant to this part, or make or give any preference to any candidate for public office or subject any such candidate to any prejudice or disadvantage; nor shall any system make any contract or other agreement which shall have the effect of permitting any legally qualified candidate for any public office to cablecast to the exclusion of other legally qualified candidates for the same public office.

[57 FR 210, Jan. 3, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 14568, Mar. 29, 1994]

§ 76.206 Candidate rates.

(a) Charges for use of cable television systems. The charges, if any, made for the use of any system by any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office in connection with his or her campaign for nomination for election, or election, to such office shall not exceed:

(1) During the 45 days preceding the date of a primary or primary runoff election and during the 60 days preceding the date of a general or special election in which such person is a candidate, the lowest unit charge of the system for the same class and amount of time for the same period.

(i) A candidate shall be charged no more per unit than the system charges its most favored commercial advertisers for the same classes and amounts of time for the same periods. Any system practices offered to commercial advertisers that enhance the value of advertising spots must be disclosed and made available to candidates upon equal terms. Such practices include but are not limited to any discount privileges that affect the value of advertising, such as bonus spots, time-sensitive make goods, preemption priorities, or any other factors that enhance the value of the announcement.

(ii) The Commission recognizes non-preemptible, preemptible with notice, immediately preemptible and run-of-schedule as distinct classes of time.

(iii) Systems may establish and define their own reasonable classes of immediately preemptible time so long as the differences between such classes are based on one or more demonstrable benefits associated with each class and are not based solely upon price or identity of the advertiser. Such demonstrable benefits include, but are not limited to, varying levels of preemption protection, scheduling flexibility, or associated privileges, such as guaranteed time-sensitive make goods. Systems may not use class distinctions to defeat the purpose of the lowest unit charge requirement. All classes must be fully disclosed and made available to candidates.

(iv) Systems may establish reasonable classes of preemptible with notice time so long as they clearly define all such classes, fully disclose them and make them available to candidates.

(v) Systems may treat non-preemptible and fixed position as distinct classes of time provided that systems articulate clearly the differences between such classes, fully disclose them, and make them available to candidates.

(vi) Systems shall not establish a separate, premium-priced class of time sold only to candidates. Systems may sell higher-priced non-preemptible or fixed time to candidates if such a class of time is made available on a bona fide basis to both candidates and commercial advertisers, and provided such class is not functionally equivalent to any lower-priced class of time sold to commercial advertisers.

(vii) [Reserved]

(viii) Lowest unit charge may be calculated on a weekly basis with respect to time that is sold on a weekly basis, such as rotations through particular programs or dayparts. Systems electing to calculate the lowest unit charge by such a method must include in that calculation all rates for all announcements scheduled in the rotation, including announcements aired under long-term advertising contracts. Systems may implement rate increases during election periods only to the extent that such increases constitute “ordinary business practices,” such as seasonal program changes or changes in audience ratings.

(ix) Systems shall review their advertising records periodically throughout the election period to determine whether compliance with this section requires that candidates receive rebates or credits. Where necessary, systems shall issue such rebates or credits promptly.

(x) Unit rates charged as part of any package, whether individually negotiated or generally available to all advertisers, must be included in the lowest unit charge calculation for the same class and length of time in the same time period. A candidate cannot be required to purchase advertising in every program or daypart in a package as a condition for obtaining package unit rates.

(xi) Systems are not required to include non-cash promotional merchandising incentives in lowest unit charge calculations; provided, however, that all such incentives must be offered to candidates as part of any purchases permitted by the system. Bonus spots, however, must be included in the calculation of the lowest unit charge calculation.

(xii) Make goods, defined as the rescheduling of preempted advertising, shall be provided to candidates prior to election day if a system has provided a time-sensitive make good during the year preceding the pre-election periods, respectively set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, to any commercial advertiser who purchased time in the same class.

(xiii) Systems must disclose and make available to candidates any make good policies provided to commercial advertisers. If a system places a make good for any commercial advertiser or other candidate in a more valuable program or daypart, the value of such make good must be included in the calculation of the lowest unit charge for that program or daypart.

(2) At any time other than the respective periods set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, systems may charge legally qualified candidates for public office no more than the charges made for comparable use of the system by commercial advertisers. The rates, if any, charged all such candidates for the same office shall be uniform and shall not be rebated by any means, direct or indirect. A candidate shall be charged no more than the rate the system would charge for comparable commercial advertising. All discount privileges otherwise offered by a system to commercial advertisers must be disclosed and made available upon equal terms to all candidates for public office.

(b) If a system permits a candidate to use its cablecast facilities, the system shall make all discount privileges offered to commercial advertisers, including the lowest unit charges for each class and length of time in the same time period and all corresponding discount privileges, available on equal terms to all candidates. This duty includes an affirmative duty to disclose to candidates information about rates, terms, conditions and all value-enhancing discount privileges offered to commercial advertisers, as provided in § 76.1611. Systems may use reasonable discretion in making the disclosure; provided, however, that the disclosure includes, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) A description and definition of each class of time available to commercial advertisers sufficiently complete enough to allow candidates to identify and understand what specific attributes differentiate each class;

(2) A description of the lowest unit charge and related privileges (such as priorities against preemption and make goods prior to specific deadlines) for each class of time offered to commercial advertisers;

(3) A description of the system's method of selling preemptible time based upon advertiser demand, commonly known as the “current selling level,” with the stipulation that candidates will be able to purchase at these demand-generated rates in the same manner as commercial advertisers;

(4) An approximation of the likelihood of preemption for each kind of preemptible time; and

(5) An explanation of the system's sales practices, if any, that are based on audience delivery, with the stipulation that candidates will be able to purchase this kind of time, if available to commercial advertisers.

(c) Once disclosure is made, systems shall negotiate in good faith to actually sell time to candidates in accordance with the disclosure.

[57 FR 210, Jan. 3, 1992, as amended at 57 FR 27709, June 22, 1992; 65 FR 53615, Sept. 5, 2000]

§ 76.213 Lotteries.

(a) No cable television system operator, except as in paragraph (c), when engaged in origination cablecasting shall transmit or permit to be transmitted on the origination cablecasting channel or channels any advertisement of or information concerning any lottery, gift, enterprise, or similar scheme, offering prizes dependent in whole or in part upon lot or chance, or any list of prizes drawn or awarded by means of any such lottery, gift enterprise, or scheme, whether said list contains any part or all of such prizes.

(b) The determination whether a particular program comes within the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section depends on the facts of each case. However, the Commission will in any event consider that a program comes within the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section if in connection with such program a prize consisting of money or thing of value is awarded to any person whose selection is dependent in whole or in part upon lot or chance, if as a condition of winning or competing for such prize, such winner or winners are required to furnish any money or thing of value or are required to have in their possession any product sold, manufactured, furnished, or distributed by a sponsor of a program cablecast on the system in question.

(c) The provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section shall not apply to advertisements or lists of prizes or information concerning:

(1) A lottery conducted by a State acting under authority of State law which is transmitted:

(i) By a cable system located in that State;

(ii) By a cable system located in another State which conducts such a lottery; or

(iii) By a cable system located in another State which is integrated with a cable system described in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) or (c)(1)(ii) of this section, if termination of the receipt of such transmission by the cable systems in such other State would be technically infeasible.

(2) Any gaming conducted by an Indian Tribe pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).

(3) A lottery, gift enterprise or similar scheme, other than one described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, that is authorized or not otherwise prohibited by the State in which it is conducted and which is:

(i) Conducted by a not-for-profit organization or a governmental organization; or

(ii) Conducted as a promotional activity by a commercial organization and is clearly occasional and ancillary to the primary business of that organization.

(d) For the purposes of paragraph (c) lottery means the pooling of proceeds derived from the sale of tickets or chances and allotting those proceeds or parts thereof by chance to one or more chance takers or ticket purchasers. It does not include the placing or accepting of bets or wagers on sporting events or contests.

(e) For purposes of paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section, the term “not-for-profit organization” means any organization that would qualify as tax exempt under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

[37 FR 3278, Feb. 12, 1972, as amended at 40 FR 6210, Feb. 10, 1975; 42 FR 13947, Apr. 13, 1977; 54 FR 20856, May 15, 1989; 55 FR 18888, May 7, 1990]

§ 76.225 Commercial limits in children's programs.

(a) No cable operator shall air more than 10.5 minutes of commercial matter per hour during children's programming on weekends, or more than 12 minutes of commercial matter per hour on weekdays.

(b) The display of Internet Web site addresses during program material or promotional material not counted as commercial time is permitted only if the Web site:

(1) Offers a substantial amount of bona fide program-related or other noncommercial content;

(2) Is not primarily intended for commercial purposes, including either e-commerce or advertising;

(3) The Web site's home page and other menu pages are clearly labeled to distinguish the noncommercial from the commercial sections; and

(4) The page of the Web site to which viewers are directed by the Web site address is not used for e-commerce, advertising, or other commercial purposes (e.g., contains no links labeled “store” and no links to another page with commercial material).

(c) If an Internet address for a Web site that does not meet the test in paragraph (b) of this section is displayed during a promotion in a children's program, in addition to counting against the commercial time limits in paragraph (a) of this section the promotion must be clearly separated from program material.


(1) Entities subject to commercial time limits under the Children's Television Act shall not display a Web site address during or adjacent to a program if, at that time, on pages that are primarily devoted to free noncommercial content regarding that specific program or a character appearing in that program:

(i) Products are sold that feature a character appearing in that program; or

(ii) A character appearing in that program is used to actively sell products.

(2) The requirements of this paragraph do not apply to:

(i) Third-party sites linked from the companies' Web pages;

(ii) On-air third-party advertisements with Web site references to third-party Web sites; or

(iii) Pages that are primarily devoted to multiple characters from multiple programs.

(e) The requirements of this section shall not apply to programs aired on a broadcast television channel which the cable operator passively carries, or to access channels over which the cable operator may not exercise editorial control, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 531(e) and 532(c)(2).

Note 1 to § 76.225:

Commercial matter means air time sold for purposes of selling a product or service and promotions of television programs or video programming services other than children's or other age-appropriate programming appearing on the same channel or promotions for children's educational and informational programming on any channel.

Note 2 to § 76.225:

For purposes of this section, children's programming refers to programs originally produced and broadcast primarily for an audience of children 12 years old and younger.

Note 3 to § 76.225:

Section 76.1703 contains recordkeeping requirements for cable operators with regard to children's programming.

[56 FR 19616, Apr. 29, 1991, as amended at 65 FR 53615, Sept. 5, 2000; 70 FR 38, Jan. 3, 2005; 71 FR 64165, Nov. 1, 2006]

§ 76.227 [Reserved]