FCC Outlines Post-Incentive Auction Transition

The FCC has released its procedures public notice for repacking TV stations after the broadcast incentive auction, which is currently wrapping up.

According to the FCC's Media Bureau, the notice provides "detailed information, instructions, and projected deadlines for filing applications related to the post-incentive auction broadcast transition."

That includes information about filing for new construction permits for post-auction channels and procedures for winning bidders relinquishing their rights to spectrum—an FCC official said Friday that fall is the soonest that winning stations that are exiting the business would be going dark.

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It also establishes the process by which eligible stations and MVPDs can seek reimbursement for transition costs.

The FCC will release a separate notice on how winning auction bidders can file for their payments.

The notice is only targeted to full-power and Class A stations that were eligible for the auction. The item notes:  "LPTV, TV translator, and digital replacement translator stations were not eligible to participate in the incentive auction, are not protected in the repacking process, are not eligible for reimbursement, and are not included in the phased transition schedule."

Some of them could be displaced in the repack, however.

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.