Courtesy of Alpha Stock Images, using the Creative Commons License. Original Photo from: Nick Youngson)

In case you forgot, this a reminder to Low Power Television and TV Translator broadcasters of the FCC’s Special Displacement Window for LPTV Stations. The FCC issued a 60-day advanced notice of the filing window which opens up on Tuesday, April 10 and lasts through Tuesday, May 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST. This special window is limited to applications to change channels, which may be filed only by operating LPTV stations and TV translators being displaced from their current channel as a result of the TV spectrum repack. Other LPTV stations and translators seeking to change channels must wait for a later application filing opportunity.

An LPTV is considered “operating” for purposes of eligibility for this window if it was constructed and licensed, or had a license to cover application on file, as of April 13, 2017 – the date on which the incentive auction closed.

“Displaced” stations are defined by the Media Bureau as stations that:

  • are authorized on channels that are being taken by a full power or Class A television station in the repacked television band (channels 2- 36) as a result of the incentive auction and repacking process;
  • are authorized on frequencies that will serve as part of the 600 MHz Band guard bands (which includes the duplex gap); or
  • are authorized on channels 38-51.

All applications filed during the Special Window will be treated as having been filed on the same date, so there is no advantage to filing on the first day of the window. There are other strategic considerations affecting when to file, which may vary with the circumstances of each station. We at CommLawBlog strongly suggest not waiting till the last day to file, because FCC online applications system have in the past crashed when overwhelmed with too many filings on one day.

The one exception to all applications being treated the same is that applications for fill-in translators by full power stations filed on any day will have priority over LPTV and other translator applications.

If you need advice on navigating this filing window, we will have attorneys ready to help with strategy and application preparation. Reach out to us at www.fhhlaw.com or call us at (703) 812-0400.

*Editor’s note: This post was updated on 04/02.