The FCC is pleased with the way the broadcast repack is going. All of the stations required to vacate their pre-auction channels to date have successfully done so, according to Jean Kiddo and Hillary DeNigro, Chair and Deputy Chair, respectively, of the agency’s Incentive Auction Task Force.
Nine hundred and eighty-seven full power and Class A TV stations are being “repacked” to new frequencies in 10 phases.
Phase seven is underway.
“Stations have done a great job managing their channel re-assignment projects to meet the required schedule,” they write in a blog post. As of December 6, 697 of the 987 repacked stations have moved off their pre-auction channel, representing 71 percent of the total repacked stations. Seventy-nine percent of those transitioned stations have completed their transition to permanent facilities.
The Commission is reimbursing repacked full power and Class A stations and affected MVPDs for their costs incurred in making the move. As of December 6, the aggregate of the verified estimates the Commission received from full power and Class A TV stations and MVPDs was $1,951,302,007 and the Commission had reimbursed these entities for submitted invoices a total of approximately $886,033,437.
The agency hopes to begin reimbursing affected FMs soon. The pair announced 92.5 percent of verified estimates will be honored, for a total allocation of $17,219,711. The FCC is reviewing 947 reimbursement submissions from LPTV and TV translators. “We expect that the level of reimbursement requests will increase substantially over the next few months as stations completing their transition submit final invoices and the program begins to reimburse LPTV, TV translator and FM stations,” say Kiddo and Nigro.
The agency recognizes the extraordinary work to make the repack deadlines. “We thank the broadcasting industry, equipment vendors, tower workers, and other partners in this effort for their hard work and look forward to completing the transition this coming summer,” state Kiddo and DeNigro.
December 11, 2019
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