What’s Ahead in 2023 for Broadcasters?

Posted on November 29th, 2022 by

Yes, we know that 2023 is still a month away, but for broadcasters, it is a good time to mark a few things on your 2023 calendars.

All broadcast stations will need to file biennial ownership reports in 2023 (these are due every odd year).  Stations will need to report their ownership status as of October 1, 2023, and subject to the FCC making the form available in LMS, reports can be filed starting October 1, with a filing deadline of December 1.  License renewal applications require a certification that all ownership reports were timely filed, and if they’re not, an explanation is required and the potential for fines or other enforcement measures enters the picture.  So, stations should pay close attention and timely file 2023 ownership reports (or certifications of no change since the 2021 report).

For any stations held by non-profits, now is a good time to review whether board voting control has or will soon change by greater than 50% since the last time the FCC approved the board, either in a license assignment or transfer of control application).  If that 50% threshold has been eclipsed already, or might soon be, a voluntary transfer of control application should be filed well in advance of the October 1 ownership reporting date.

Also in 2023, we anticipate that all broadcast stations with EAS equipment will have to participate in a National EAS Test during 2023, probably sometime during the summer.

Finally, 2023 has another important requirement that only occurs every three years.  It is applicable to full power television stations (and a select few Class A and Low Power TV stations), who must make an election for the next 3-year carriage cycle between mandatory carriage and retransmission consent for in-market cable and satellite carriage.  That election, which is now made through uploads to the station online public file (and for new systems, also by email notification), will be due in 2023.  To be timely, election statements must be current and uploaded by October 1, 2023.  The new 3-year carriage cycle for which elections will be made in 2023 begins on January 1, 2024 and ends on December 31, 2026.

These are just a few of the 2023 FCC regulatory requirements for broadcasters.  There will be others, including EEO audits for about 400 randomly selected stations.  Watch our newsletter and your inbox for other important deadlines and dates throughout the year.