Goto Section: 73.501 | 73.504 | Table of Contents
Revised as of September 1, 2021
Goto Year:2020 |
§ 73.503 Licensing requirements and service.
The operation of, and the service furnished by noncommercial
educational FM broadcast stations shall be governed by the following:
(a) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station will be licensed
only to a nonprofit educational organization and upon showing that the
station will be used for the advancement of an educational program.
(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
and/or recognized regional and national educational accrediting
organizations shall be taken into consideration.
(b) Each station may transmit programs directed to specific schools in
a system or systems for use in connection with the regular courses as
well as routine and administrative material pertaining thereto and may
transmit educational, cultural, and entertainment programs to the
(c) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast 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 FM broadcast station, or general contributions to the
operating costs of a station, shall not be considered as being
prohibited by this paragraph.
(d) Each station shall furnish a nonprofit and noncommercial broadcast
service. Noncommercial educational FM broadcast stations are subject to
the provisions of § 73.1212 to the extent they are applicable to the
broadcast of programs produced by, or at the expense of, or furnished
by others. No promotional announcement 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, except as permitted under paragraph (e) of this
(e) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station may interrupt
regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a
third-party non-profit organization, provided that all such fundraising
activities conducted during any given year do not exceed one percent of
the station's total annual airtime. A station may use the prior year's
total airtime for purposes of determining how many hours constitute one
percent of its total annual airtime. With respect to stations that
multicast programming on two or more separate channels, the one-percent
annual limit will apply separately to each individual programming
stream. For purposes of this paragraph, a non-profit organization is an
entity that qualifies as a non-profit organization under 26 U.S.C.
(1) Audience disclosure. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast
station that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising
activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization must air
a disclosure during such activities clearly stating that the fundraiser
is not for the benefit of the station itself and identifying the entity
for which it is fundraising. The station must air the audience
disclosure at the beginning and the end of each fundraising program and
at least once during each hour in which the program is on the air.
(2) Reimbursement. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station
that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities
on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization may accept
reimbursement of expenses incurred in conducting third-party
fundraising activities or airing third-party fundraising programs.
(3) Exemption. No noncommercial educational FM broadcast station that
receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting shall
have the authority to interrupt regular programming to conduct
fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit
(f) Mutually exclusive applications for noncommercial educational radio
stations operating on reserved channels will be resolved pursuant to
the point system in subpart K.
(g) Application limit. An applicant may file no more than a total of 10
applications in the 2021 NCE FM filing window. A party to an
application filed in the 2021 NCE FM filing window may hold
attributable interests, as defined in § 73.7000, in no more than a total
of 10 applications filed in the window. If it is determined that any
party to an application has an attributable interest in more than 10
applications, the Media Bureau will retain the 10 applications that
were filed first—based on the date of application receipt—and dismiss
all other applications.
Note to § 73.503: Commission interpretation on 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 FCC 2d 141
(1981); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket No. 21136, 90 FCC 2d
895 (1982); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket 21136, 97 FCC 2d
255 (1984); and the Report and Order in Docket No. 12-106
(Noncommercial Educational Station Fundraising for Third-Party
Non-Profit Organizations), FCC 17-41, April 20, 2017. See also
Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational
Broadcast Stations, Public Notice, 7 FCC Rcd 827 (1992), which can be
retrieved through the Internet at
(Secs. 4, 5, 303, 48 Stat., as amended, 1066, 1068, 1082 (47 U.S.C.
154, 155, 303))
[ 28 FR 13651 , Dec. 14, 1963, as amended at 35 FR 7558 , May 15, 1970; 47 FR 36178 , Aug. 19, 1982; 49 FR 29069 , July 18, 1984; 63 FR 33877 , June
22, 1998; 65 FR 36378 , June 8, 2000; 82 FR 21135 , May 5, 2017; 86 FR 26838 , May 5, 2021]
Goto Section: 73.501 | 73.504
Goto Year: 2020 |
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