Public Inspection Files

This site provides summary information about, and access to, the “public inspection file” (or “public file”) for the following types of entities: licensed full-service radio and television broadcast stations, Class A television stations, cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite (“DBS”) providers, and satellite radio (also referred to as “Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services” or “SDARS”) licensees.

The Commission first adopted rules requiring broadcast stations to keep a public file more than 40 years ago and certain political programming files have been public for nearly 75 years. The public file for broadcast stations contains a variety of information about each station’s operations and service to its community of license, including information about political time sold or given away by each station, quarterly lists of the most significant programs each station aired concerning issues of importance to its community, data on ownership of each station and active applications each station has filed with the Commission. The Commission adopted the public inspection file requirement to "make information to which the public already has a right more readily available, so that the public will be encouraged to play a more active part in dialogue with broadcast licensees."

Cable, DBS, and SDARS entities also have public and political file requirements. These entities’ political file requirements are substantially similar to those of television and radio broadcasters. Apart from the political file, however, cable, DBS, and SDARS entities’ other public file requirements differ somewhat from the public file requirements applicable to broadcasters.

View the complete list of the items that must be placed in the file.


For broadcast stations, you may enter a call sign (e.g., WXYZ), network affiliation (e.g., NBC), channel number (e.g., 26), or facility ID number (e.g., 123456). For CABLE systems, you may enter PSID or a ZIP code. For DBS providers or SDARS licensees, you may enter the name of the entity.