FCC Opens Application Window for LPTV, Translator, FM Reimbursements

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The FCC has begun the reimbursement process for low-power TV stations, TV translators, FM stations and FM translators forced to move due to the repack. A 60-day filing window opened Thursday. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. October 15.

The Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau revised the application process.

 Click here to see what guidelines stations must follow to file Form 1876 in the Commission Registration System (CORES) Incentive Auction Financial Module (CIAFM). Form 1876 enables stations to certify their agreement with, and acknowledgement of, required payment terms and to identify the bank and account into which reimbursement payments should be made.

“A reimbursement payment may be disbursed only to a single payee and only into a single account,” says the FCC. “Reimbursement payments will not be disbursed to creditors (e.g., equipment vendor or contractor) or other third parties on behalf of the station.” 

LPTV/translators and FMs must certify they actually meet the reimbursement requirements. Eligible stations also will need to provide information on their existing broadcasting equipment and disclose estimated and/or actual costs eligible for reimbursement using FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399.

Congress initially allocated up to $1.75B to be set aside for full-power TV stations as reimbursement for new equipment related to the channel moves, funded from proceeds from the broadcast incentive auction. The Reimbursement Expansion Act (REA) increased the amount to assure that full power and Class A TV stations and MVPDs would be fully reimbursed. It also expanded the types of stations eligible for reimbursement to include LPTV, TV translator and FMs.

The REA appropriated an additional $1 billion to the fund, $600 million in FY2018 and $400 million in FY2019. Of the $600 million for FYf2018, the REA authorized the Commission to use not more than $350 million to reimburse full power and Class A stations and MVPDs. The agency can use up to $150 million to reimburse TV translators and LPTVs and up to $50 million for FMs. The FCC can spend $50 million for consumer education.

August 16, 2019

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