FCC Issues LPTV Displacement Reimbursement Order

Posted on March 28th, 2019 by

At long last, the FCC has now adopted a Report & Order on the eligibility and process for displaced LPTV and TV translator stations to receive reimbursement for costs reasonably incurred in the construction of their new facilities.

A displaced station must meet certain criteria to be eligible for reimbursement. First, it must have filed an application within the 2018 Special Displacement Filing Window (4/10 – 6/1). Second, it must have received a construction permit arising from a grant of that application, and third, been licensed and transmitting for at least 9 of the 12 months prior to April 13, 2017.

A displaced station seeking reimbursement will be required to file an Eligibility Certification and Reimbursement Form by an announced future deadline.  The form will be filed in LMS and will be a modified version of Form 2100, Schedule 399.  Stations will have to certify that they meet the eligibility criteria, including providing supporting documentation to prove operation during the required pre-April 2017 period, which could, by way of example, include evidence of programming aired by the station during the relevant period such as program guides, electric power bills, or other evidence.  Now is a good time to locate such documentation.  Stations will also have to list their existing equipment and estimated replacement costs.

Stations that have already purchased equipment will be able to submit those invoice amounts instead of estimates.  After submitting these forms, the FCC will review all estimates and make a decision on what percentage of expenses will be allocated (i.e., it is possible that there will not be enough in the reimbursement fund to reimburse all displacement costs).  From there, the FCC will allocate funds in traunches to stations for their drawdown and use.  Stations will have to file Form 1876 to create a reimbursement account, specifying the bank account that will receive reimbursement funds.

While the news is good that monies will be available for reimbursement, the process can be time consuming and detailed. Bring your patience with you. It will be needed.