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TV Regulation

Broadcast or “over the air” television is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  The FCC awards licenses to local stations, which stipulate stations’ commitments to educational and public-interest programming.  The FCC also prohibits the airing of “indecent” material over the air between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.  Although cable television is largely unregulated, “must carry” regulation stipulates that locally-licensed television stations must be carried on a cable provider’s system.  Cable systems must include local over-the-air stations in their offerings and give them low channel numbers.  Moreover, the cable systems cannot show broadcast-network affiliates from other parts of the country.

Inside TV Regulation