The Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau (Bureau) has released a public notice reminding all low power TV and TV translator (LPTV/translator) stations, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), and FM stations that they must submit all remaining invoices in the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund no later than September 6, 2022. All licensees are encouraged to submit invoices and initiate close-out procedures as soon as possible, however.
The FCC initially announced the close-out procedures on February 16, 2019 and announced the upcoming deadline in October 2020. Since entities were given ample notice of deadlines, extensions of the assigned invoice submission are only being granted to entities who provide evidence that circumstances requiring the extension were outside of its control.
An entity’s failure to complete construction in a timely manner and to make final submissions by the assigned deadlines could preclude that entity from receiving full reimbursement because unobligated amounts in the Fund must be rescinded to Treasury by July 3, 2023.
The Fund Administrator will initiate close-out for any entity that has failed to initiate the process by the invoice filing deadline assigned to that entity. Any unused allocations made to that entity’s account will be returned to the Fund and made available for allocation to other program participants.
Participants must retain documents for a period ending 10 years after the date they receive their final payments from the Reimbursement Fund. Additionally, entities may be selected for audits, data validations, and site visits at any time during the repack and reimbursement process. All participants should be prepared to demonstrate that invoices submitted for reimbursement were actually paid. As a part of participants’ close-out procedures, the Commission has been requesting proof of payment of a sample of the invoices for which reimbursement was made. It is important that all reimbursement amounts received match up with payments actually made, or the FCC may demand the return of any amounts in excess of expenditures.
Should you have any questions about the invoice submission, please contact your friendly attorneys at Fletcher Heald & Hildreth.