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October 1, 2017 DEADLINE for Satellite Receipt of Station Carriage Election Letters


All television stations are required to request satellite carriage prior to each three year election cycle. The next satellite carriage election cycle runs from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020. 

In order for your station to be carried via satellite during that three year period, you must send a request for carriage via certified mail and the satellite company must receive your request NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 1, 2017. Please be aware that public television stations are entitled only to mandatory carriage (and not retransmission consent).

The satellite companies’ addresses are as follows:

DIRECTV, 2230 East Imperial Highway, El Segundo, CA 90245, Attn: Local-into-Local Elections;

DISH Satellite, LLC, 9601 S. Meridian Boulevard, Englewood, CO 80112, Attn: Local-into-Local Elections.

A station’s request for carriage is required to be made in writing and sent to the satellite carrier’s principal place of business via certified mail, return receipt requested. It must include the following:

  • The station’s call sign.
  •  The name of the appropriate contact person at the station.
  •  The station’s address for receiving official correspondence.
  •  The station’s community of license.
  •  The station’s DMA assignment.
  •  An indication that the station is requesting mandatory must carry.

A sample letter is attached.

Stations that neglect to make this election by the required date, or that do so in ways that do not strictly conform to these requirements, will lose their carriage rights for the duration of time until the next election cycle three years later.

SUBSEQUENT STEPS: Stations must upload copies of the election letters to their public files after they are sent and retain them for the three-year cycle.

Within 30 days from receipt of the station’s request for carriage, the satellite company is required to notify those stations that will be carried and those stations that will not be carried (with reasons for the decision). If a station is denied carriage, it must send a protest letter to the satellite company stating its objections and the reasons it believes carriage is required. The satellite company is then required to respond within 30 days. Thereafter, if the dispute is not resolved, a station is allowed to file a complaint with the FCC, as long as the date of filing is within 60 days of being denied carriage, either explicitly or implicitly.

For further information please contact Lonna Thompson, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, APTS (