The FCC has announced that the current freeze on major modification to Class A television, LPTV, and TV translator stations will be partially lifted to allow applications to change channels as of August 20, 2024, subject to certain limitations.  Channel change applications will be permitted on a nationwide basis without geographic limitation.  For the limited number of new but unbuilt LPTV stations that were authorized under the 2009 Rural LPTV Window, the FCC will permit them to also apply to change their channel in order to avoid the need to double build their facilities.  However, all other major modification applications as well as applications for new LPTV and TV translator stations will remain frozen. 

All channel change applications filed during the window will be processed by the Commission on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be “cut off” daily for purposes of determining mutual exclusivity.  In the event of mutual exclusivity, applicants will have the opportunity to resolve the issue through either settlement or the filing of an engineering amendment that may be submitted during a settlement window to be announced by the FCC at a later date. 

Applications that fail to comply with the parameters of this filing window may be amended within thirty (30) days to come into compliance, so long as the amended filing does not result in a new mutual exclusivity situation with another application.  Any application that fails to come into compliance during this thirty (30) day period will be dismissed. 

At a future date, the FCC will announce plans and procedures to lift the freeze on all major changes to Class A, LPTV, and TV translator stations (e.g., channel change, relocating transmitter sites greater than 30 miles or without contour overlap, etc.) and resume first-come, first-serve applications for new LPTV and TV translator stations.  The opportunity for Class A, LPTV, and TV translator stations to change channels will remain available unless subsequently frozen by the Commission. 

If you have any questions or would like assistance with preparing a channel change application for your station, please contact your friendly FHH attorney.