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Category Archives: Digital Television

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FCC Details Window for LPTV Stations and TV Translators Displaced by the Incentive Auction to Seek New Channels

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC last week released a Public Notice describing the process for the filing of applications for replacement channels for LPTV stations and TV translators that are displaced by the incentive auction.  As the repacking of the TV band following the incentive auction will require LPTV and TV translator stations now operating on channels above… Continue Reading

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, ATSC 3.0 and Broadcast Deregulation

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
May is one of the few months without the normal list of quarterly filings and EEO public file reports.  But, just because there are none of these regular filings due, that does not mean that the month will be a quiet one for broadcasters on the regulatory front.  In fact, far from it.  There are… Continue Reading

FCC Appoints Regional Coordinators for TV Post-Auction Repacking Process

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
With the FCC last week announcing the results of the reverse auction portion of the incentive auction and setting the timetable for the repacking of the TV spectrum, the next question on everyone’s mind will be how successful the television industry will be in adhering to the schedule established by the FCC for clearing the… Continue Reading

FCC Asks for Formal Comments on Next-Generation of Television, and Approves Greater Use of FM Translators By AM Stations

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, FM Translators and LPFM, Television
At its meeting yesterday, the FCC took two big actions affecting broadcasters. First, it approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to adopt a transition plan for television broadcasters to move to the new ATSC 3.0 standard. The Commission apparently took the general actions previewed in its draft order released earlier this month, though additional… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Pai Promotes Transparency – Releases Draft Orders on Next-Generation TV and FM Translators for AM Stations – What Will Be Considered for Radio at February FCC Meeting?

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Television
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced yesterday that he plans to test a new FCC procedure – releasing drafts of FCC orders to be considered at future FCC meetings at the same time as the proposed agenda for the meeting is released, weeks in advance of the meeting. On the draft agenda for the February 23rd… Continue Reading

Washington Issues for TV Broadcasters – Where Things Stand at the FCC

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
There is a new FCC under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, which now has to deal with the many legal issues facing broadcasters. While we try on this Blog to keep on top of these issues, we can’t always address everything that is happening. But we try to hit the highlights. Each quarter, my… Continue Reading

FCC Grants Extension of Time to Comment on Reconsideration of the Elimination of the UHF Discount

Posted in Digital Television, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
As we wrote here, the FCC has requested comments on a petition for reconsideration of the elimination of the UHF discount – which had counted UHF stations as reaching only half of their market in assessing an owner’s compliance with the National Ownership Rules for TV.  These rules limit an attributable owner from having an… Continue Reading

Stage 4 Reverse Auction to Begin Tuesday, December 12 – 84 MHz Clearing Target

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
As expected, and as we wrote last week, the FCC announced Friday that the reverse auction phase of Stage 4 of the Incentive Auction will begin tomorrow, December 12, 2016. The FCC also, as expected, confirmed that the clearing target will be 84 MHz, meaning that the FCC will be looking to clear TV channels… Continue Reading

Incentive Auction News: Stage 3 Forward Auction Closes After One Round, Stage 4 to Commence Next Week; GAO Issues Report on Effects on LPTV; Court Dismisses Appeal of TV Station Exclusion from Auction

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
Yesterday was a busy day for the TV incentive auction, where the FCC is attempting to clear portions of the TV band by paying TV stations to surrender their licenses, and repurpose the cleared spectrum for wireless broadband users. As we wrote earlier this week, Stage 3 of the Forward Auction started yesterday, where wireless… Continue Reading

Stage 3 of the Reverse Auction is in the Books at $40 Billion – Forward Auction to Begin on Monday

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
The FCC last week announced that Stage 3 of the reverse auction portion of the FCC Incentive Auction is now complete, and the amount necessary to be paid to TV stations to vacate the required spectrum in this stage is $40,313,164,425.  This represents a drop from the $54,586,032,836 clearing cost that resulted from Stage 2 reverse… Continue Reading

FCC Extends for 18 Months the Requirement for TV Stations to Convert Visual Emergency Information to Audio on SAP Channel

Posted in Digital Television, Emergency Communications, Programming Regulations, Television
The FCC released an order last week giving TV stations an additional 18 months to comply with a requirement that emergency information conveyed to the TV audience during non-news programming in a visual or graphical manner (e.g. on-screen weather maps during entertainment programming) be converted to audio that is broadcast on the TV station’s SAP… Continue Reading

FCC Reminds TV Broadcasters that Reports on Ancillary and Supplementary Services (and Required Fees) Are Due By December 1

Posted in Digital Television, FCC Fees, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC yesterday issued a Public Notice reminding all TV broadcasters (full-power, LPTV, translator and Class A stations, both commercial and noncommercial, if they have digital operations) that they must, by December 1, file a report as to whether or not they provide ancillary and supplementary services through their broadcast spectrum. If they do provide such services,… Continue Reading

Eliminating the UHF Discount and Limiting the National Ownership Reach of Television Groups Without Reviewing the Media Marketplace

Posted in Digital Television, Multiple Ownership Rules, Television
Last week, the FCC released its order eliminating the UHF discount. Under this discount, a TV broadcaster, in determining its compliance with the national ownership limit prohibiting any owner from having attributable interests in stations serving more than 39% of the nationwide television audience, would include in its count only one-half of the audience of… Continue Reading

Regulatory Fees Due By September 27 – Fee Filing Guides and Instructions for Waivers or Deferrals Released by FCC

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, FCC Fees, FM Radio, Television
The FCC today released a series of public notices setting September 27 as the deadline for the filing of Annual Regulatory fees.  We wrote here about the FCC Order setting the amount of those fees, and reminding TV stations, even ones looking to surrender their licenses in the incentive auction, that they must still pay… Continue Reading

FY 2016 FCC Regulatory Fees Released – With a Reminder to Incentive Auction Participants

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
Right as everyone was set to enjoy the last glimmer of summer over the long weekend, the FCC issued its Report and Order on the regulatory fees for 2016.  The FCC adopted all the fees for broadcast stations as proposed in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (about which we wrote about here) with some adjustments… Continue Reading

Incentive Auction Stage 2 to Begin September 13 – FCC Proposal to Clear 114 MHz

Posted in Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
Incentive Auction Stage 2 to Begin September 13 – FCC Proposal to Clear 114 MHz Given Tuesday’s declaration by the FCC that Stage 1 of the TV incentive auction did not meet its clearing target (in that enough was not bid in the forward auction to cover the amount needed to compensate television stations for… Continue Reading

How To Follow the FCC Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
As the leaders of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force said in opening a post on the FCC’s blog last week, “Who says nothing happens in Washington in August?”  Bidding in the initial stage of the FCC Incentive Auction’s forward auction phase begins on Tuesday, August 16th, and with it, the longest pre-auction run-up period… Continue Reading

Debunking a Few Myths about the FCC’s Incentive Auction

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
Jonathan Cohen, one of my partners at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, has been closely following the incentive auction by which the FCC is looking to clear a significant part of the television band and take that spectrum, slice it up into different size blocks, and resell it to wireless companies.  He has been guiding numerous companies through… Continue Reading

Legal Issues for Broadcasters – Updates on Pending Matters

Posted in AM Radio, Appearances, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
There are so many legal issues that facing broadcasters that it is sometimes difficult to keep up with them all. This Blog and many other activities that those at my firm engage in are meant to help our clients and other broadcasters keep up to date on all of the many regulatory challenges with which… Continue Reading

Countdown to the Incentive Auction – FCC Announces Details of May 24 Workshop for Reverse Auction Participants, and Reminds Them to Preview the Auction System

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
Yesterday, the FCC released a Public Notice setting out the agenda for the May 24 Workshop to explain the process of bidding in the reverse auction. The reverse auction is of course when broadcasters can bid to surrender their current channel to the FCC so that the FCC can repackage the surrendered spectrum and then… Continue Reading

126 MHz Incentive Auction Clearing Target Set – Reverse Auction for TV Stations to Bid to Surrender their Spectrum to Wireless Users to Begin May 31

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Television
This morning, the FCC released a Public Notice, announcing that the spectrum clearing target for the initial stage of the Incentive Auction will be 126 MHz.  That means, that if the Incentive Auction is completed in the initial stage with the 126 MHz spectrum clearing target, TV channels 30-36 and 38-51 will be reallocated for… Continue Reading

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, Comments on EAS, ATSC 3.0 and Set Top Boxes

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Emergency Communications, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Political Broadcasting, Television
May is one of those off months in which there are not the kind of routine filings that pop up in most other months – no EEO Public File Reports, no quarterly issues programs lists or children’s television reports, no Biennial Ownership Reports for noncommercial stations (which will soon disappear anyway when noncommercial stations transition… Continue Reading