On Sept. 20, the FCC announced the second filing window for all full power and Class A television stations receiving new channel assignment as part of the post-incentive auction repack. The filing window will open Oct. 3 and close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Nov. 2. During this “second priority” filing window, all eligible stations may file applications requesting authority to operate on a new channel or with expanded facilities.
Stations eligible to file during the second priority filing window include all Class A and full power stations that were assigned new channels by the Commission during the repack, including those who were involuntarily assigned new channels, and those who elected to move from a UHF to VHF channel (or from high VHF to low VHF) as part of the auction. If an eligible station’s initial post-auction construction permit application remains pending, it can submit its second priority filing window application as an amendment. If the station’s initial construction permit application has already been granted, the station will need to apply for a modification of that permit.
Second priority window applications may request expanded facilities, provided that the requested facilities would qualify as a minor change under the Commission’s rules. Applicants may also request authority to operate on a different channel, although any application requesting a channel change will be treated as a major change, and will be subject to local public notice procedures and to the filing of petitions to deny.
Applicants in the second priority window also must ensure that their applications protect any facilities applied for in the initial 90-day window for post-auction applications or the first priority filing window (closed September 15), regardless of whether those applications have been granted or remain pending. For Class A stations, the FCC reminds applicants that those stations, “must also demonstrate that the proposal would not cause interference to a low power television or television translator facility previously authorized or proposed.” If for any reason a second priority filing window application is incomplete, the FCC will allow the applicant an opportunity to submit amendment via LMS in order to address the issues.
As with other filing windows, the Commission also offers a reminder that filing early will not provide a station with greater protection. All applications filed during the window will be treated as filed on the last day of the window for determining any conflicts. If any applications filed during the second priority window are mutually exclusive, the Commission will offer the applicants 90 days in which to resolve that conflict amongst themselves.
Finally, the Commission reminds potential applicants that any additional costs incurred in applying for or constructing expanded or alternate channel facilities requested for in the second priority window (or after) will not be eligible for reimbursement.
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