In this document, the Commission finds it in the public interest to allow the viewability rule to sunset as scheduled. The Commission reinterprets the statutory viewability requirement to permit cable operators to require the use of set-top equipment to view must- carry signals, provided that such equipment is both available and affordable (or provided at no cost). The Commission establishes a transitional period of six months after expiration of the current rule during which hybrid systems will be required to continue to carry the signals of must-carry stations in analog format to all analog cable subscribers. The Commission also concludes that the small-system HD carriage exemption continues to serve the public interest and extends the existing exemption for three more years.
Agency Contact: For additional information on this proceeding, contact Steven Broeckaert, Steven.Broeckaert@fcc.gov, or Evan Baranoff, Evan.Baranoff@fcc.gov, of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120.
This rule is final. Its effective date is June 18, 2012.