Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Annual DTV ancillary/supplementary services report due for commercial and noncommercial digital television stations

By Lauren Lynch Flick and Scott R Flick

All commercial and noncommercial educational digital television broadcast station licensees and permittees must file FCC Form 317 by 2 December 2013.

The FCC requires all digital television stations, including all commercial and noncommercial educational full-power television stations, digital low-power television stations, digital translator television stations and digital Class A television stations, to submit FCC Form 317 each year. The report details whether stations provided ancillary or supplemental services at any time during the 12-month period ending on the preceding 30 September. It is important to note that FCC Form 317 must be submitted regardless of whether a station offered any such services. FCC Form 317 must be filed electronically, absent a waiver, and is due on 2 December 2013.

Ancillary or supplementary services are all services provided on the portion of a DTV station’s digital spectrum that is not necessary to provide the required single free, over-the-air signal to viewers. Any video broadcast service that is provided with no direct charge to viewers is exempt. According to the FCC, examples of services that are considered ancillary or supplementary include, but are not limited to, ‘computer software distribution, data transmissions, teletext, interactive materials, aural messages, paging services, audio signals, subscription video and the like’…

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