The commission proposed rules governing which stations are eligible for reimbursement following the post-incentive auction repacking of TV stations, and what kinds of expenses can be reimbursed, as well as the procedures eligible stations must use to receive funds. Here’s the skinny on LPTV and TV translator stations.
The $1.3 trillion appropriations bill has passed the House on Thursday and the Senate early Friday morning. Among its many provisions, it allocates an additional $1 billion for spectrum repack expenses — above and beyond the $1.75 billion already allocated.
Both the House and Senate Commerce Committees have agreed to bring the FCC reauthorization bill, “Ray Baum’s Act,” to the House floor for a vote next on March 6. The bill includes the repack fund that will compensate radio stations, translators, and LPTVs for costs related to displacement and reduced power while TV stations are “repacked” on the spectrum, and adds elements of the Senate’s Mobile Now Act promoting the development of 5G networks.
Moving nearly 1,000 TV stations in the TV repack will cost around $2 billion, according to TVNewsCheck’s review of nearly 500 individual cost estimates filed by stations at the FCC. Counting another $200 million or so in costs from MVPDs, the total cost of the channel migration figures to be at least $2.2 billion, $450 million more than the $1.75 billion that Congress has currently allocated.
This year, July 12 is an important non-vacation day for many broadcasters. It’s when an important post-incentive auction filing is due at the FCC for broadcast stations assigned to new channels as a result of the FCC’s spectrum auction and channel repack. Here are answers to five vital questions that will hopefully encourage you to file ASAP.