Displaced LPTV/TV Translator Reimbursement Process Moves Forward

Posted on March 30th, 2020 by

This past week, many (if not all) LPTV/TV translator stations that were displaced due to the repack of television stations into channels 2-36 and filed initial reimbursement estimates last fall received emails from the FCC.

The first email was an initial verification of the estimated displacement cost for a station, sometimes for the amount claimed, and sometimes for an adjusted, lower amount.  The second email notified those stations that 85% of the verified cost estimate amount became available for use by stations.

The FCC issued a public notice about the allocation, which also notified LPTV/Translator stations that they may immediately begin submitting documentation of actual expenses incurred for approval to be drawn down against their individual allocations by uploading invoices or receipts and resubmitting the reimbursement form in the Bureau’s Licensing and Management System.  Invoices for actual expenses incurred that have already been submitted will also be reviewed and processed for payment upon approval.  The FCC does not just pay a lump sum to a station.  Instead, it pays by invoice, sending funds from the station’s allocation only once an expense is incurred/proven.  For example, if your transmitter or antenna manufacturer requires a 50% deposit before beginning to process your order, an invoice with those terms will result in the FCC’s approval of those funds, and direction to the U.S. Treasury (where your allocated funds are held) to distribute those funds to the station bank account that you specified in the Form 1876.

If your displaced facilities have not yet been constructed, or if you’re in the process and coronavirus delays may be frustrating your attempts to complete construction, stop and review your construction permit deadline.  Permit deadlines are nearly impossible to extend under FCC rules, but we’ve already seen the FCC grant relief to full power stations when tower crews became scarce, or those in phase 9 whose construction schedules have been upended by coronavirus issues.  If your current efforts are being delayed for coronavirus related reasons, let us know so we can assist in getting you more time.

If you own a displaced LPTV/TV translator that was determined to be eligible for reimbursement, but did not receive the emails above, something could be amiss.  Let us know and we’ll assist you in determining whether there is a problem.