As is the case with most months, June brings a number of FCC deadlines for broadcasters, both standard regulatory filings and comment deadlines in important regulatory proceedings. The regular filing deadlines include license renewal applications due on June 3 (as June 1 is a Saturday) for Commercial and Noncommercial Full-Power and Class A Television Stations, TV Translators, and LPTV Stations in Ohio and Michigan; and Commercial and Noncommercial AM and FM Radio Stations, FM Translators, and LPFM Stations in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada. Noncommercial stations in the states with renewals also have to file their Biennial Ownership Reports, as do noncommercial radio stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Renewal pre-filing announcements must begin on June 1 for Commercial and Noncommercial Full-Power and Class A Television Stations in Illinois and Wisconsin and for Commercial and Noncommercial AM and FM Radio Stations in California. Post-filing announcements for radio stations in Texas should continue on June 1 and 16, as well as for TV stations in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
In addition to these regular filings, broadcasters also have many other deadlines that are coming up either in the month, or soon thereafter. Broadcasters who were successful bidders in the recent FM auction have payment deadlines on June 12, and then have a July 24 deadline for the filing of "long-form" applications on FCC Form 301 specifying the technical facilities that they plan to build (see the FCC Public Notice here). Applicants for new FM translators left over from the 2003 filing window are now in a settlement window, with deadlines for settlements between competing applicants due on July 22 (see the FCC public notice here).
Comments on the FCC’s proposals for annual regulatory fees are due on June 19. We’ll write more about this proposal, but it includes eliminating the difference in regulatory fees between UHF and VHF television stations, and an across the board increase in fees. Comments on the indecency rules are also due in June – now on June 19 (see the FCC order extending the comment deadline here). For TV broadcasters, the FCC has solicited comments on the "band plan" to be utilized for wireless companies who end up purchasing parts of the TV band in the upcoming incentive auctions, and whether there will be a continuous block of spectrum down from Channel 51 for wireless, or whether there will be TV stations in parts of the spectrum breaking up the uplink and downlink portions of the wireless spectrum.
As always, plenty for broadcasters to think about in the coming weeks.