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FCC noncommercial station licensing rules, Sec. 73.621

This section of FCC rules regulates noncommercial educational (public) broadcasting stations. This text, revised up until Oct. 1, 2001, was published in the Code of Federal Regulations on the website of the U.S. Government Printing Office. Citation: 47CFR73.621.
Subpart E--Television Broadcast Stations
Sec. 73.621  Noncommercial educational TV stations.

    In addition to the other provisions of this subpart, the following 
shall be applicable to noncommercial educational television broadcast 
    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, 
noncommercial educational broadcast stations will be licensed only to 
nonprofit educational organizations upon a showing that the proposed 
stations will be used primarily to serve the educational needs of the 
community; for the advancement of educational programs; and to furnish a 
nonprofit and noncommercial television broadcast service.
    (1) In determining the eligibility of publicly supported educational 
organizations, the accreditation of their respective state departments 
of education shall be taken into consideration.
    (2) In determining the eligibility of privately controlled 
educational organizations, the accreditation of state departments of 
education or recognized regional and national educational accrediting 
organizations shall be taken into consideration.
    (b) Where a municipality or other political subdivision has no 
independently constituted educational organization such as, for example, 
a board of education having autonomy with respect to carrying out the 
municipality's educational program, such municipality shall be eligible 
for a noncommercial educational television broadcast station. In such 
circumstances, a full and detailed showing must be made that a grant of 
the application will be consistent with the intent and purpose of the 
Commission's rules and regulations relating to such stations.
    (c) Noncommercial educational television broadcast stations may 
transmit educational, cultural and entertainment programs, and programs 
designed for use by schools and school systems in connection with 
regular school courses, as well as routine and administrative material 
pertaining thereto.
    (d) A noncommercial educational television station may broadcast 
programs produced by or at the expense of, or furnished by persons other 
than the licensee, if no other consideration than the furnishing of the 
program and the costs incidental to its production and broadcast are 
received by the licensee. The payment of line charges by another 
station, network, or someone other than the licensee of a noncommercial 
educational television station, or general contributions to the 
operating costs of a station, shall not be considered as being 
prohibited by this paragraph.
    (e) Each station shall furnish a nonprofit and noncommercial 
broadcast service. Noncommercial educational television stations shall 
be subject to the provisions of Sec. 73.1212 to the extent that they are 
applicable to the broadcast of programs produced by, or at the expense 
of, or furnished by others. No promotional announcements on behalf of 
for profit entities shall be broadcast at any time in exchange for the 
receipt, in whole or in part, of consideration to the licensee, its 
principals, or employees. However, acknowledgements of contributions can 
be made. The scheduling of any announcements and acknowledgements may 
not interrupt regular programming.

    Note: Commission interpretation of this rule, including the 
acceptable form of acknowledgements, may be found in the Second Report 
and Order in Docket No. 21136 (Commission Policy Concerning the 
Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcast Stations), 86 F.C.C. 2d 
141 (1981); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket No.
21136, 90 FCC 2d 895 (1982), and the Memorandum Opinion and Order in 
Docket 21136, 49 FR 13534, April 5, 1984.

    (f) Telecommunications Service on the Vertical Blanking Interval and 
in the Visual Signal. The provisions governing VBI and visual signal 
telecommunications service in Sec. 73.646 are applicable to 
noncommercial educational TV stations.
    (g) Non-program related data signals transmitted on Line 21 pursuant 
to Sec. 73.682(a)(22)(ii) may be used for remunerative purposes.
    (h) Mutually exclusive applications for noncommercial educational TV 
stations operating on reserved channels shall be resolved pursuant to 
the point system in subpart K.

[28 FR 13660, Dec. 14, 1963, as amended at 35 FR 7558, May 15, 1970; 47 
FR 36179, Aug. 19, 1982; 48 FR 27068, June 13, 1983; 49 FR 29069, July 
18, 1984; 50 FR 4664, Feb. 1, 1985; 50 FR 4684, Feb. 1, 1985; 61 FR 
36304, July 10, 1996; 65 FR 36378, June 8, 2000]

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Posted Feb. 26, 2002