FCC Allows Repacking Stations to File for Minor Modifications

TV stations moving to new channels in the post incentive auction repack can now ask the FCC to expand their coverage without seeking a waiver of the commission's freeze on such minor modification, which dates from 2013. 

At that time the FCC wanted to hold up such tweaks until it had gotten well into the post-incentive auction repack in which it would have to puzzle together the new spectrum lineups and coverage areas for stations being repacked into new, smaller, space.

Related: TV Station Repack Ahead of Schedule

With that process well under way, the FCC has lifted the freeze for stations that need to tweak to fit their piece into the new spectrum picture. 

The Media Bureau said Monday (July 22) that the April 5, 2013, freeze on filing and processing minor modifications has been lifted immediately for full power stations and Class A low powers, which have similar rights to full-powers.

But that only applies to stations that have not yet completed their repack. The FCC is looking to help out stations trying to match up new equipment to their exact market contours or install antennas that may not be exactly to the authorized height. 

"The freeze is lifted for these stations, and the freeze remains in place for all other stations," the bureau said.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.