FCC Launches Repack Re-Scan Call Center

The FCC has launched a call center to help viewers re-scan their TV's after the TV station repack.

Most of a thousand channels are having to change channels, which means viewers will, too, if they want to find them.

“As an over-the-air TV viewer myself, I know that consumers sometimes need extra help re-scanning televisions when broadcast stations add channels or change frequencies," said Incentive Auction Task Force chair Jean Kiddoo. "That’s why it’s so important to make both online information and telephone assistance like the consumer help line available to viewers during the ongoing broadcast transition.”

The center will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET and can be reached by calling 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and pressing 6 to speak to someone on the help desk.

While the channel numbers for stations aren't changing, the frequencies are, so viewers with an antenna will need to re-scan each time a station in their market makes a move in what is a rolling repack that will last another year and a half--July 2020 is the end of the 10th and last transition phase. Stations have to announce the move at least 30 days in advance. 

The call center funding is coming out of the funds Congress set aside for consumer education in the RAY BAUMS Act.

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.