Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The NAB and REC Networks, an LPFM advocacy organization, jointly requested an extension of the December 12, 2023 deadline for

The last week has been a busy one for the FCC in preparing for the December applications by broadcasters for participation in the TV incentive auction. The incentive auction will, of course, offer TV broadcasters money (in some cases, lots of it, at least initially) to vacate their spectrum so that the television band can be “repacked” – consolidated into fewer channels – with the reclaimed spectrum being divided into different size blocks and resold to wireless companies for wireless broadband uses. In the last week, the FCC has made public two forms that will be important to that effort – the Form 177 which (as we wrote here) will be filed in December by broadcasters initially interested in participating in the auction, and the Form 2100 Schedule 399, which will be used to claim reimbursement by TV stations that do not surrender their licenses but which are forced to change channels as part of the repacking. The Form 177, the form that broadcasters must submit if they want to take part in the reverse auction, is not easy to find, but is available here, on the website of the Office of Management and Budget, where it has been submitted for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act before it can be released to broadcasters for submission by the December 18 filing deadline.

Similarly, and a bit more publicly, the FCC has released the form, Form 2100 Schedule 399, which broadcasters who do not sell out in the incentive auction, but instead are repacked and forced to move to another channel, will use to claim reimbursement for such moves. The form reveals the categories of expenses for which reimbursement would be made. This form is also being submitted to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, according to the FCC Public Notice which provided notice of the form.
Continue Reading Closing In on the Incentive Auction – Broadcast Application and Reimbursement Forms Available for Review, Reverse Auction Workshop and TV Interference Calculations

With regulatory fees behind us, October brings a number of the routine quarterly regulatory filing dates.  October 10 for all broadcast stations, commercial and noncommercial, is the date by which your Quarterly Issues Programs lists, setting out the most important issues that faced your community in the last quarter and the programs that you broadcast to address those issues, need to be placed in the physical public inspection file of radio stations, and the online public file of TV broadcasters.  As missing and incomplete Quarterly lists have led to more fines in the recent license renewal violation than any other matter, and as the FCC staffers have been reviewing some of the TV station lists that are now posted in the online public inspection files of station, completing these forms on a timely basis remains very important. 

Full power TV and Class A TV stations by October 10 also need to have filed with the FCC their FCC Form 398 Children’s Television Reports, addressing the educational and informational programming directed to children that they broadcast.  Also, by that same date, they need to upload to their online public files records showing compliance with the limits on commercials during programming directed to children.  Children’s television reports have trailed right behind the Quarterly Issues Programs lists as the source of fines at license renewal time – so be sure that these are completed and filed on a timely basis as well. 
Continue Reading October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, New Form for TV CP Applications, Comments on Captioning of Video Clips and Incentive Auction Reimbursement Form and More!