In a public notice issued Feb. 9, the FCC’s Media Bureau and Incentive Auction Task Force said the “special displacement window” for LPTV and translator stations filing applications for channels opened April 10 and closes May 15. But LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition Director Michael Gravino says the FCC just changed its guidance on how those should be filed and his members need another two weeks to digest the change and respond accordingly.
The FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau announced the opening of a 60-day filing window for those LPTV stations that are being displaced as a result of the post-incentive auction repacking process.The window will be open from Tuesday, April 10, through Tuesday, May 15, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Once a station has identified which channel it wants — and on which it can operate without causing unacceptable interference — it should file a construction permit application during this filing window.
The FCC announced late Thursday that the freeze that has been in place since April 2013 that prevents full-power and Class A TV stations from filing applications to expand their coverage areas will be lifted temporarily, likely before the end of this year. The lifting of the freeze allows stations that were not repacked following the Broadcast Incentive Auction to file minor modification applications to expand their signal for the first time in nearly five years.
The thinning of the ranks of Class A TV stations continues. Recently, the FCC has started to propose the downgrading of a number of Class A television stations to LPTV status, presumably to make room for the almighty broadband to take over TV spectrum. Another 16 Class A’s now face the prospect of being demoted to LPTV status.
I wrote in February about a sudden deluge of nearly identical FCC decisions, all released on the same day, proposing to revoke the Class A status of 16 LPTV stations for failure to timely file all of their Form 398 children’s television reports. I was at least somewhat relieved to see a trio of decisions released Wednesday morning by the FCC that are largely identical to the February decisions with one big exception — the FCC proposed fining the stations for failing to file all of their children’s television reports rather than seeking to revoke their Class A status.
That the FCC seems to be moving quickly to cull LPTV stations from the Class A herd just a week after Congress cleared the way for a spectrum auction is likely no coincidence.