The FCC’s Media Bureau, as a result of an FCC vote at its meeting last month to look at doing away with the requirement that all TV stations file a report by December 1 of each year detailing their revenue from ancillary and supplementary services – i.e. data and other non-broadcast services offered by the TV station through their digital transmissions – issued an Order suspending the December 1 filing requirement this year for all TV stations that have no such revenue. TV stations that have such revenue must file the report and pay to the government 5% of all of the revenue they receive from offering these non-broadcast services. As we wrote here, the FCC voted last month to start a rulemaking proceeding, as part of its proceeding to look at the Modernization of Media Regulation, to limit the filing requirement to only those stations that actually have ancillary and supplementary revenues – approximately 15 TV stations nationwide.
This FCC Form, Form 2100, Schedule G (formerly Form 317), based on this Media Bureau action, will not be required this year by stations with no ancillary and supplementary revenue while the FCC determines whether to abolish the requirement permanently. Of course, today the FCC will be acting on the proposal to adopt ATSC 3.0, a new TV transmission system which, among other benefits, will allow TV stations to increase their data transmission capabilities. So, even though initially stations that take advantage of this waiver will not have to file the report on ancillary and supplementary revenues this year, that obligation may well arise in the future if they recognize the benefits of ATSC 3.0 by offering non-broadcast services using their TV spectrum.