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Title 47

Displaying title 47, up to date as of 9/16/2021. Title 47 was last amended 9/14/2021.

Title 47

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§ 76.503 National subscriber limits.

(a) No cable operator shall serve more than 30 percent of all multichannel-video programming subscribers nationwide through multichannel video programming distributors owned by such operator or in which such cable operator holds an attributable interest.

(b-d) [Reserved]

(e) “Multichannel video-programming subscribers” means subscribers who receive multichannel video-programming from cable systems, direct broadcast satellite services, direct-to-home satellite services, BRS/EBS, local multipoint distribution services, satellite master antenna television services (as defined in § 76.5(a)(2)), and open video systems.

(f) “Cable operator” means any person or entity that owns or has an attributable interest in an incumbent cable franchise.

(g) Prior to acquiring additional multichannel video-programming providers, any cable operator that serves 20% or more of multichannel video-programming subscribers nationwide shall certify to the Commission, concurrent with its applications to the Commission for transfer of licenses at issue in the acquisition, that no violation of the national subscriber limits prescribed in this section will occur as a result of such acquisition.

Note 1 to § 76.503:

Certifications made under this section shall be sent to the attention of the Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, located at the address of the FCC's main office indicated in 47 CFR 0.401(a).

Note 2 to § 76.503:

Attributable Interest shall be defined by reference to the criteria set forth in Notes 1 through 5 to § 76.501 provided however, that:

(a) Notes 2(f) and 2(g) to § 76.501 to shall not apply;

(b)(1) Subject to Note 2(i) to § 76.501, a limited partnership interest shall be attributed to a limited partner unless that partner is not materially involved, directly or indirectly, in the management or operation of the video programming-related activities of the partnership and the relevant entity so certifies. An interest in a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) or Registered Limited Liability Partnership (“RLLP”) shall be attributed to the interest holder unless that interest holder is not materially involved, directly or indirectly, in the management or operation of the video programming-related activities of the partnership and the relevant entity so certifies.

(2) In the case of a limited partnership, in order for an entity to make the certification set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, it must verify that the partnership agreement or certificate of limited partnership, with respect to the particular limited partner exempt from attribution, establishes that the exempt limited partner has no material involvement, directly or indirectly, in the management or operation of the video programming activities of the partnership. In the case of an LLC or RLLP, in order for an entity to make the certification set forth in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, it must verify that the organizational document, with respect to the particular interest holder exempt from attribution, establishes that the exempt interest holder has no material involvement, directly or indirectly, in the management or operation of the video programming activities of the LLC or RLLP. The criteria which would assume adequate insulation for purposes of these certifications are described in the Report and Order, FCC No. 99-288, CS Docket No. 98-82 (released October 20, 1999). In order for the Commission to accept the certification, the certification must be accompanied by facts, e.g. in the form of documents, affidavits or declarations, that demonstrate that these insulation criteria are met. Irrespective of the terms of the certificate of limited partnership or partnership agreement, or other organizational document in the case of an LLC or RLLP, however, no such certification shall be made if the individual or entity making the certification has actual knowledge of any material involvement of the limited partners, or other interest holders in the case of an LLC or RLLP, in the management or operation of the video-programming activities of the partnership or LLC or RLLP.

(3) In the case of an LLC or RLLP, the entity seeking insulation shall certify, in addition, that the relevant state statute authorizing LLCs permits an LLC member to insulate itself as required by our criteria.

(c) Officers and directors of an entity covered by this rule are considered to have a cognizable interest in the entity with which they are so associated. If any such entity engages in activities other than video-programming activities, it may request the Commission to waive attribution for any officer or director whose duties and responsibilities are wholly unrelated to the entity's video-programming activities. In the case of common or appointed directors and officers, if common or appointed directors or officers have duties and responsibilities that are wholly unrelated to video-programming activities for both entities, the relevant entity may request the Commission to waive attribution of the director or officer. The officers and directors of a parent company of a video-programming business, with an attributable interest in any such subsidiary entity, shall be deemed to have a cognizable interest in the subsidiary unless the duties and responsibilities of the officer or director involved are wholly unrelated to the video-programming subsidiary, and a certification properly documenting this fact is submitted to the Commission. The officers and directors of a sister corporation of a cable system shall not be attributed with ownership of that entity by virtue of such status.

[64 FR 67195, 67199, Dec. 1, 1999, as amended at 67 FR 13234, Mar. 21, 2002; 69 FR 72046, Dec. 10, 2004; 73 FR 11050, Feb. 29, 2008; 85 FR 64409, Oct. 13, 2020]