On Thursday, we wrote about the FCC’s release of its order setting the amounts for the Annual Regulatory Fees paid by all of those regulated by the FCC. Those fees are due by September 25. On Friday, the FCC released a Fact Sheet detailing the fees for broadcast and other licensees regulated by the Media Bureau and how those fees should be paid. As we noted in our article last week, fees are due for stations based on the FCC authorization they held on October 1, 2017 – so even stations whose licenses have been surrendered (e.g. through the incentive auction or construction permits for new stations that were never built and expired) must pay fees on the authorizations in effect on October 1, 2017. The FCC also notes that expanded band AM stations, that have previously been exempt from fees as they are part of a paired license with stations in the core AM band, now have to pay fees independently from their paired station.
The Fact Sheet also sets out the fees owed by radio stations based on the population they serve, and for TV stations based on the size of the DMA in which they are located. The Fact Sheet links to this sheet for more information about how to access the FCC’s calculation of the specific amount owed for each of a licensee’s stations. The Fact Sheet also sets out details of the payment process, and notes that those licensees whose total fees are $1000 or less are exempt from any payment obligations as their fees are considered “de minimis.” Licensees who are in this de minimis category don’t even need to report that fact to the FCC – the Commission should be able to recognize that status on its own. Carefully read this information provided by the FCC, and submit your fees when ready – just be sure to do it before the September 25 deadline to avoid the substantial penalties for late payments.