Frank and Linda Azevedo, the licensees of KAZV-LP Modesto CA, want their channel carried on the local Charter Communications cable system – but its complaint filed with the FCC detailed just how difficult it is for an LPTV to press for carriage.
One factor to consider, according to the FCC, is that its authority in carriage cases is limited – they are beholden to follow congressionally-mandated guidelines, which the FCC is required to enforce. In other words, there is no room for debate.
In order to have a carriage right, an LPTV station must:
* broadcast for a certain minimum number of hours
* meet non-entertainment programming and employment thresholds, and address needs that are not being met by other local stations due to geographic distance from the LPTV’s community
* comply with interference regulations
* be within 35 miles of an MVPD’s headend and provide it with a quality signal
* be outside the largest 160 MSAs and in a community of less than 35,000 people
* be in a community with no full power station
The FCC looked at a number of factors, but noted that the LPTV must meet all six in order to qualify for carriage. Therefore, it only needed to find one factor missing and it would be forced, by statute, to deny the claim for carriage.
Modesto has a population of over 160,000 and two licensed full power television stations – that’s two factors right there. Request denied.