This Public Notice provides instructions to full power and Class A broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) who anticipate receiving incentive and/or reimbursement payment(s) following the incentive auction (collectively, Payment Applicants). These instructions describe essential steps that Payment Applicants must take before receiving incentive payments based on winning reverse auction bids or payments from the Television Broadcaster Relocation Fund (the Fund) for expenses eligible for reimbursement. This Public Notice describes and explains FCC Forms 1875 and 1876, the forms that Payment Applicants must use to provide the Commission with directions for making payments. These forms enable Payment Applicants to certify their agreement with and acknowledgement of required payment terms, to identify the individual(s) authorized to give the Commission instructions regarding payments, and to identify the financial institution and account into which payments should be made. Updating Payment Applicant Information in the Updated Commission Registration System (CORES). Prior to providing instructions for payments, each Payment Applicant must have a representative log in to the FCC User Registration System (https://apps2.fcc.gov/fccUserReg/pages/login.htm) and set up a username and password to create an FCC Username Account. Detailed instructions on how to register for an FCC Username Account can be found at: https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/html/Register_New_Account.htm.
In implementing Congress’s mandate to conduct a broadcast television spectrum incentive auction, the FCC previously established rules to allow full power and Class A stations that relinquish licensed spectrum usage rights in the reverse auction to share a channel with another station. These rules, however, confine channel sharing to auction-related agreements. The FCC also authorized channel sharing between low power television (LPTV) and television translator stations (collectively, “secondary stations”) to help mitigate the auction’s potential to displace secondary stations. The FCC adopted rules to allow full power and Class A stations with auction-related channel sharing agreements (CSAs) to become sharees outside of the auction context so that they can continue to operate if their auction-related CSAs expire or otherwise terminate. They also adopted rules to allow all secondary stations to share a channel with another secondary station or with a full power or Class A station. This action will assist secondary stations that are displaced by the incentive auction and the repacking process to continue to operate in the post-auction television bands. The rules adopted will enhance the benefits of channel sharing for broadcasters without imposing significant burdens on multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs).
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.
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: Continue reading “Agenda for the Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau Workshop on Post-Auction transition procedures.”