FCC Sets Deadlines for Final TV Repack Invoices

Posted on October 30th, 2020 by

In an October 7th Public Notice, the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau have set specific deadlines for TV stations eligible for reimbursement as part of the post-auction repack of television channels.  If a station was assigned a transition completion date in Phases 1-5, it must submit all remaining invoices for incurred repack expenses by October 8, 2021.  For stations assigned transition completion dates in Phases 6-10 of the repack, the invoice submission deadline is March 22, 2022.  A station granted permission to change phases will have the deadline associated with its revised phase completion date.  All other participants in the program (which includes displaced LPTV or TV translator stations) must submit any invoices by September 5, 2022.

Extensions are not anticipated except in unique circumstances.  The Commission anticipates that most stations are ready to close out the reimbursement process now, and urges stations not to wait until the announced deadline.  The Notice includes a reminder that the FCC continues to have and exercise audit authority to ensure that funds received by broadcasters have been spent on the repack expense items for which the funds were provided. At any time, the FCC may request copies of cancelled checks, financial institution statements detailing disbursements or payments, credit card statements or other relevant third-party information to demonstrate proper payment of funds to third party vendors.  These audits can be done even after the submission deadline, and all Fund participants are reminded that they must retain documents for 10 years after the date they receive their final payments from the Reimbursement Fund.