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 37 to move to a new channel below that channel, and as others will be displaced by full-power stations being moved from high channels to channels below 37 (or simply being rearranged on their channels to make room for some of the stations being repacked into the smaller TV band), this displacement window will be necessary for these LPTV/TV translator stations to continue to operate. The Public Notice sets out that the FCC will open a displacement window after full-power stations that were repacked as a result of the incentive auction have had their own windows when they can request alternative channels or increased facilities, as set out in the FCC’s auction Closing Notice (see that notice here). The FCC estimates that the LPTV/TV Translator window will likely be announced 7 or 8 months after last month’s Closing Notice in the auction – meaning that it is likely to be announced at the end of this year. As the announcement of the window will give LPTV and translator stations 60 days to prepare applications, and the window itself will last 30 days, it looks like we are looking at displacement applications being due late in the first quarter of 2018.
In addition to displaced LPTV stations and displaced TV translators, full-power TV stations that lost coverage areas because of the repacking will be able to file in this displacement window for a new class of translators. In fact, these new translators will receive a preference over displacement applications for LPTV stations and TV translators if both happen to file for the same channel. The FCC will, however, provide mutually exclusive applicants filed during the window an opportunity to move to a different channel to resolve any conflict.
Continue Reading FCC Details Window for LPTV Stations and TV Translators Displaced by the Incentive Auction to Seek New Channels