Post-Incentive Auction – What’s Happening?

Posted on August 31st, 2017 by

Deadlines and filing requirements. That’s the best way to summarize the Post-Incentive Auction landscape for television stations.

In the past few weeks, several repacked TV stations that filed an estimate of their expenses on Form 399 have received requests from the FCC for additional clarifying information, quotes, or support/justification for certain expenses. These have typically come with a very short turn-around time, with a lack of response meaning an automatic adjustment to a station’s reimbursement amount. And to make matters more complicated, that contact from the FCC has come via emails, some of which have found their way to spam folders. If your station filed a Form 399, we do recommend reviewing your spam folder to be sure there is not a request sitting there from the FCC related to your Form 399.

In coming weeks, the FCC will announce initial allocations of amounts available to stations for reimbursement of repack expenses. To draw down on those funds, stations will need to have filed Form 1876 and followed FCC instructions to link their bank accounts to their FRN.

We are also in the middle of the first priority filing window for a small group of repacked TV stations that could not build out their assigned facilities or that the FCC has projected a population percentage loss of greater than 1% with their repacked facilities. The deadline for filing in that window is September 8, 2017.

And now, for all repacked stations and those that voluntarily changed from the UHF to VHF band, another (new) deadline is October 10, 2017. That’s the last day of a 10-day filing window beginning October 1st for such stations to file a transition progress update summarizing actions taken toward construction. This will be a quarterly report, and must be filed during the 10 days following the end of each calendar quarter until construction of post-auction facilities is completed.

We have not heard an update on the pending legislation that authorizes more funds for repacked stations. But we are aware that NAB is pushing for passage of that legislation.