Sec. 76.987 New product tiers.
(a) Operators may establish a category of CPSTs, referred to as
``new product tiers'' (``NPTs''), and offer these tiers to subscribers
at prices they elect.
(b) In order to be eligible to offer NPTs, cable operators must meet
the following conditions:
(1) Operators offering NPTs are prohibited from making fundamental
changes to what they offer on their BSTs and CPSTs offerings on
September 30, 1994. Operators may drop channels or move channels between
BSTs and/or CPSTs or to an a la carte offering so long as the
aggregation of such changes do not constitute a fundamental change in
their BST or CPSTs.
(2) Operators may not drop channels that were offered on their BSTs
or CPSTs on September 30, 1994 and move them to NPTs unless they wait at
least two years from the date the channels were dropped from the BSTs or
CPSTs. Time shifted versions, slightly altered versions or renamed
versions of channels offered on BSTs and CPSTs on September 30, 1994
shall not be exempt from this restriction.
(3) Operators must market their BSTs and CPSTs so that customers
should be reasonably aware that:
(i) Those tiers are being offered to the public;
(ii) The names of the channels available on those tiers; and
(iii) The price of the tiers. A subscriber may not be charged for an
NPT unless the cable operator has obtained the subscriber's affirmative
consent. Changes to the fundamental nature of an NPT must be approved by
subscribers in accordance with Sec. 76.981.
(4) Operators may not require the subscription to any tier, other
than a BST, as a condition for subscribing to an NPT and operators may
not require subscription to an NPT as a condition for subscribing to a
CPST. These restrictions will not apply to cable operators prior to
October 5, 2002, if such operators lack the capacity to offer BSTs and
NPTs without also providing other intermediate tiers of service as
provided in Sec. 76.900(c).
(c) Operators may offer the same service on NPTs as are on one or
more BSTs or CPSTs. A channel that occupied a CPST or BST part-time on
September 30, 1994 also may be offered full-time on an NPT as long as it
continues to be offered at least part-time on CPST or BST, under
substantially the same conditions as before it was offered on the NPT.
If a channel occupies a BST or CPST (regulated pursuant to Sec. 76.922)
full-time on September 30, 1994, and is subsequently reduced to part-
time on the BST or CPST, that channel may not be offered on an NPT full-
time. Operators that offer a channel both on an NPT and a BST or CPST
will have a continuing obligation to ensure that subscribers are aware
that the channels are available on the CPST or BST.
(d) Operators may temporarily place new channels on CPSTs for
marketing purposes and then move them to NPTs. In order for an operator
to move a channel from a CPST to an NPT pursuant to this paragraph, the
channel must not have been offered on a BST or CPST prior to October 1,
(e) After initially electing to offer an NPT, a cable operator may
cease to provide the NPT, upon proper notice to subscribers pursuant to
Sec. 76.964. If an operator drops an NPT and subsequently determines to
reestablish that tier, at the time of the reestablishment it must comply
with the conditions for offering NPTs set forth in paragraph (b) of this
(f) If the Commission receives a complaint about an NPT, the
operator need not file the rate justification provided in Sec. 76.956,
but shall within the time period provided by that rule file
documentation that the NPT meets all the conditions set forth in this
(g) Within 30 days of the offering of an NPT, operators shall file
with the Commission, a copy of the new rate card that contains the
following information on their BSTs, CPSTs and NPTs:
(1) The names of the programming services contained on each tier;
(2) The price of each tier. Operators also must file with the
Commission, copies of notifications that were sent to subscribers
regarding the initial offering of NPTs. After this initial filing, cable
operators must file updated rate cards and copies of customer
notifications with the Commission within 30 days of rate or service
changes affecting the NPT.
[ 59 FR 62625 , Dec. 6, 1994]
Effective Date Note: At 60 FR 62625 , Dec. 6, 1994, Sec. 76.987, was
revised. Paragraph (g) contains information collection and recordkeeping
requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given
by the Office of Management and Budget.
Subpart O--Competitive Access to Cable Programming
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