February 6, 2017

Comments sought on the filing of the transition progress report forms and filing requirements for stations that are not eligible for reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund. Filing deadlines extended.

The Media Bureau extends the filing deadlines for public comment in the pending proceeding proposing to require certain broadcast television stations that are not eligible to receive reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund but must transition to new channels during the post -auction transition period to provide progress reports. The deadlines are extended to provide additional time for commenters that coincides with the date of Federal Register publication.

March 24, 2017

FCC Expands Channel Sharing Opportunities For Broadcasters

The Federal Communications Commission today adopted a Report and Order that expands broadcast stations’ ability to share a single TV channel so viewers can continue to receive their broadcast programming. The ability to channel-share is an important component of the FCC’s incentive auction, mandated by Congress in 2012, which provides a voluntary opportunity for full power and Class A broadcast stations to relinquish their spectrum and share a channel with another full power or Class A broadcaster in exchange for a part of the proceeds from a related mobile wireless auction. Separately, the Commission in 2015 extended channel sharing to low power television (LPTV) and TV translator stations to help stations displaced by the incentive auction stay on the air. Today’s Order permits television broadcast stations with an auction-related channel sharing agreement (CSA) to continue channel sharing by entering into a new CSA in the event that their existing agreement ends. This enables stations to continue providing service to their viewers . The new rules also permit Class A stations to channel share outside of the auction context . Additionally, all LPTV and TV translator stations are now able to share a channel with a full power or Class A station. This flexibility gives LPTV and TV translator stations that are displaced by the auction repacking process more options for continuing to operate. It also may reduce construction and operating costs for LPTV and TV translator stations, many of which have limited resources, are minority-owned, or provide programming to underserved audiences.

March 7, 2017

Agenda for the Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Workshop on Post-Auction transition procedures.

The Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau announce the agenda for the upcoming public workshop on post -auction transition procedures . The workshop will be held on Monday, March 13, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 1 2:30 p.m. Agenda topics are: 

•  Overview and incentive auction status update

•  Step-by-step review of the procedures for broadcast stations filing applications for construction permits during the      39-month transition period

•  Review of procedures for submitting bank account information to ensure payment of reverse auction winnings and reimbursement of eligible expenses

•  Question & Answer session with panel of FCC staff .

The workshop will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC, and is open to the public. All attendees are advised to arrive approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of the workshop to allow sufficient time to go through the security process for admission to FCC Headquarters.  Attendees are encouraged to pre-register by submitting their names and company affiliations via email to IAtransition@fcc.gov in order to expedite the check-in process the day of the event.   Please use “ Post -Auction Workshop” as the subject line in your email. The workshop will also be streamed live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live.  During the event, those watching the live video stream of the event may email event-related questions to IAtransition@fcc.gov.  After the event, a recording of the workshop will be available for streaming.

February 27, 2017

The FCC proposes to authorize television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard associated with recent work of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (“ATSC 3.0”)

The FCC proposes to authorize television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard associated with recent work of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (“ATSC 3.0”) on a voluntary, market -driven basis, while they continue to deliver current -generation digital television (DTV) broadcast service, using the “ATSC 1.0 standard,” to their viewers. ATSC 3.0 is being developed by broadcasters with the intent of merging the capabilities of over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting with the broadband viewing and information delivery methods of the Internet, using the same 6 MHz channels presently allocated for DTV. According to a coalition of broadcast and consumer electronics industry representatives that has petitioned the Commission to authorize the use of ATSC 3.0, this new standard has the potential to greatly improve broadcast signal reception, particularly on mobile devices and television receivers without outdoor antennas, and it will enable broadcasters to offer enhanced and innovative new features to consumers, including Ultra High Definition (UHD) picture and immersive audio, more localized programming content, an advanced emergency alert system (EAS) capable of waking up sleeping devices to warn consumers of imminent emergencies, better accessibility options, and interactive services. With today’s action, the FCC aims to facilitate private sector innovation and promote American leadership in the global broadcast industry.

February 27, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission expands the site locations where FM translators can rebroadcast AM radio stations effective April 10, 2017

The FCC today expanded the site locations where FM translators can rebroadcast AM radio stations. The amended rule provide s greater flexibility for an AM station to place a rebroadcasting FM translator in a location where it will better serve its AM station’s listeners. AM radio stations that want to improve their service area with a clearer signal can do so by using an FM translator , which receives the AM signal and re -broadcasts it on an FM frequency . This is particularly useful for the many AM stations forced to reduce their power at night, since the FM translator can operate at the same power 24 hours a day. At issue is a current FCC rule that may make finding a location for these translators unnecessarily challenging. Under the old rule, an AM station could place a rebroadcasting FM translator either within its daytime service contour or within a 25 -mile radius of its transmitter, whichever distance was less. The new rule allows the rebroadcasting FM translator to be located anywhere within the AM station’s daytime service contour or anywhere within a 25-mile radius of the transmitter, even if the contour extends farther than 25 miles from the transmitter.

February 22, 2017

The Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau announce a workshop on post-auction procedures.

On Monday, March 13, 2017, the Commission’s Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau will host a public workshop to review procedures related to the post-auction broadcast transition. Following the auction, the Commission will issue a public notice beginning the 39-month period during which some full power and Class A broadcast television stations must transition to post -auction channel assignments in the reorganized television band. The workshop will include presentations and panels by Commission staff focusing on post-auction procedures. The workshop will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC, and will be open to the public. Additional details, including the exact times and format for the workshop, how to register, how to view the workshop remotely, and how to obtain reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities will be released at a later date. For more information contact: Charlie Meisch, Charles.Meisch@fcc.gov, (202)418-2943. For more information about the broadcast television incentive auction, visit: http://www.fcc.gov/incentiveauctions

February 9, 2017

Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau finalize catalog of reimbursement expenses.

The Commission delegated authority to the Media Bureau to, among other things, develop a catalog of eligible reimbursement expenses (Catalog) to facilitate the process of reimbursing eligible broadcasters and Multi-channel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) from the $1.75 billion TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund (Fund). The Catalog is a non-exhaustive list, organized by category, of the equipment and services broadcasters and MVPDs are most likely to incur as a result of the 39-month post-incentive auction broadcast transition. The Bureau sought and received comment on the Catalog in September 2013, March 2014, and, most recently, October 2016 after proposing to update the Catalog’s expense categories and baseline costs. 

February 6, 2017

Office of Engineering and Technology announces release of Version 2.1 of TVStudy for processing construction permit applications filed with the Media Bureau implementing the results of the repacking process.

For purposes of the repacking process, the Commission adopted use of new software developed by the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) (called TVStudy ) and updated input values.  OET releases today a version of the TVStudy software (Version 2.1) intended to facilitate the processing of applications that implement the results of the repacking process. For example, Version 2.1 includes an updated “TV Interference Check” mode to help evaluate interference between TV stations, as will be needed for processing anticipated applications for station modifications following the auction. The updated software also includes new map output types and options, support for additional or updated underlying data sources, and several new analysis modes. While Version 2.1 includes changes necessary to facilitate application processing , it is consistent with the version of TVStudy being used during the course of the incentive auction . The full list of features and functions added in TVStudy Version 2.1 since the release of TVStudy Version 2.0.2, the prior version of TVStudy , is included in the attached changelog.  TVStudy Version 2.1 and the software configuration settings for use in processing post - auction TV applications, which are included in a template XML file (January 2017 TVStudy Template), are both available on the TVStudy website at http://www.fcc.gov/oet/tvstudy

February 6, 2017

The Incentive Auction Task Force, with the Media and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus, releases a public notice concerning; Confidential Letters regarding Post-Incentive Auction channel assignments; Limited waiver of prohibited communications rules.

The Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau announce that, within the next few days, they will send to each eligible full power or Class A television station that was not a provisionally winning bidder to go off -air at the end of Stage 4 of the reverse auction (Auction 1001) of the broadcast television incentive auction a confidential letter with important information regarding the station’s post-auction channel assignment. In addition, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announces a limited waiver of the rule prohibiting communicating bids and bidding strategies in the reverse auction portion of the incentive auction.

February 3, 2017

Rescission of March 12. 2014, broadcast processing guidance relating to sharing arrangements and contingent interests.

This Public Notice rescinds, in its entirety and effective immediately, earlier guidance provided in a March 12, 2014, Public Notice, DA 14 -330, “Processing of Broadcast Television Applications Proposing Sharing Arrangements and Contingent Interests.” This action is taken by the Acting Chief, Media Bureau, pursuant to authority delegated by 47 C.F.R. § 0.283 of the Commission's rules.

January 27, 2017

Post-Incentive Auction Broadcast Transition Procedures

The Media Bureau, addresses the transition of full power and Class A television stations to post-auction channel assignments in the reorganized television bands following the conclusion of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction. In order to provide guidance to broadcasters assigned to new channels, we summarize and clarify the process established in the Incentive Auction R&O and further developed in subsequent decisions.

This Public Notice provides detailed information, instructions, and projected deadlines for filing applications related to the post-incentive auction broadcast transition. It includes details about the requirement that all stations assigned a new channel as a result of the incentive auction submit an application for construction permit for their post-auction channel, as well as the procedures by which winning reverse auction bidders must relinquish their spectrum usage rights. It also sets forth the process by which eligible television stations can seek reimbursement of certain costs incurred in relocating to new channels and Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) for certain costs incurred in order to continue to carry the signals of relocating television stations. Additionally, this Public Notice includes an Appendix with instructions for filing in the Commission’s Licensing and Management System (LMS) the applications required to effectuate this transition.

January 27, 2017

Post-Incentive Auction Transition Scheduling Plan

The Media Bureau adopts a methodology to establish construction deadlines for full power and Class A television stations that are transitioning to new channels following the incentive auction. The Media Bureau established transition deadlines within the 39-month post-auction transition period.  In consultation with the Incentive Auction Task Force, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology, the Media Bureau proposed a methodology for establishing deadlines within a “phased” transition schedule in the Transition Scheduling Proposal Public Notice.

The FCC proposed methodology is detailed in Appendix A (beginning on page 37.) This methodology will be used after final channel reassignments are known in order to establish an orderly schedule that will allow stations, manufacturers, and other vendors and consultants, to coordinate broadcasters’ post-auction channel changes.

For Prior News Articles, see the News Archives Section.