December 7, 2023


Advocacy. Mediation. Success.

August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters:  Regulatory Fees, EEO Reports, Many Rulemaking Comment Dates, and More

With the conclusion of summer time upon us, we commence to seem ahead to the regulatory troubles that will facial area broadcasters as we barrel toward the stop of the yr.  A person day on quite a few broadcaster’s minds is the day by which the once-a-year regulatory fees will be because of to be paid out.  Although the payment date is just about absolutely going to be someday in September, appear for an FCC final decision on the amount of people service fees at some place in late August.  As we wrote in final week’s summary of regulatory steps (and in lots of before), the total that broadcasters will pay back remains a matter of dispute, so look at for the resolution of that dispute by September, as fees have to be compensated just before the Oct 1 start out of the FCC’s following fiscal yr.

But many other dates of great importance to broadcasters will happen effectively just before the resolution of the regulatory cost problem.  August 1 is the deadline for total energy television, Class A tv, LPTV, and Television translator license renewal purposes for stations in California.  As we have previously suggested,  renewal programs should be accompanied by FCC Form 2100, Agenda 396 Broadcast EEO Software Report (other than for LPFMs and Television translators).  Stations filing for renewal of their license must make absolutely sure that all files needed to be uploaded to the station’s on the web community file are complete and were uploaded on time.  Be aware that your Broadcast EEO Application Report should include things like two many years of Annual EEO Public File Experiences for FCC overview, except if your work device employs much less than 5 complete-time workforce.  Be positive to browse the recommendations for the license renewal software and seek the advice of with your advisors if you have queries, especially if you have discovered any discrepancies in your on the internet public file or political file.  Problems with the community file have currently led to fines imposed on Tv set broadcasters during this renewal cycle.

August 1 is also the deadline by which radio and television station employment models with 5 or more entire-time staff accredited to communities in California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin must add Annual EEO General public Stories to station on the internet community inspection files and sites.

This calendar year, August 1 takes place to be the deadline for a lot of other regulatory filings.  Television stations with regionally-produced programming whose alerts had been carried as distant alerts by at the very least one particular cable or satellite method in 2021 should file their copyright royalty claims with the Copyright Royalty Board (“CRB”) by August 1 (as the ordinary July 31 deadline falls on a Sunday).  Stations that had local programming imported as a distant sign in 2021 who sign-up by the August 1 deadline turn into eligible to share in the distribution of the expenses paid by cable and satellite tv providers for the appropriate to carry these distant signals.  The CRB calls for that these filings be designed on the web by way of the eCRB system (more data is available here).

August 1 is also the deadline for Reply Feedback on the FCC’s Detect of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to authorize LPTV stations running on Television channel 6 to continue on to provide an analog audio stream that can be received on FM radios at 87.7.   The Notice also asks for remarks as to irrespective of whether Channel 6, in geographic spots in which it is not at present utilized for Tv set providers, really should be repurposed for FM use (a proposal that has previously been highly developed by the FCC, see our Broadcast Regulation Web site article here on former FCC requests for comment on this issue).

One more August 1 deadline is that for the Reply Responses on the FCC’s Business office of Economics and Analytics once-a-year phone for feedback on the Point out of Level of competition in the Communications Marketplace. These opinions are applied to prepare a report to Congress on communications competition troubles and are in some cases referenced by the FCC alone in proceedings working with competition troubles.  The FCC seeks opinions on a listing of questions about competitors in both of those the Online video and Audio marketplaces, such as the influence of digital opponents on traditional suppliers and the job that regulation plays in the competitive landscape (Public Detect).

The previous August 1 deadline is that for Reply Responses on the FCC’s More Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on unlicensed “white spaces” units that function in the Tv set Band. The FCC previously this 12 months adopted new procedures that need fastened and particular own/moveable white area gadgets to check out white space databases at the very least the moment for each hour for other spectrum people to be safeguarded from interference, changing a prior rule that had not been enforced demanding the databases to force information and facts to white areas devices any time there was a new wireless microphone or other protected use in the area in which the white house unit was functioning.  This Further more See seeks responses on no matter whether “unlicensed narrowband white room devices” must be topic to the same hourly requirement to check out white house databases as other buyers or no matter if some other checking obligation should use.

August 8 is the deadline for responses on the FCC’s Third More Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it seeks comment on the state of the Subsequent Technology Tv, or ATSC 3., transition and on the scheduled sunsets of two procedures adopted in 2017. 1st, the FCC seeks comment on the development of broadcasters’ voluntary, sector-driven deployment of ATSC 3. services and the present-day state of the ATSC 3. market. The first rule on which the FCC seeks remark is the scheduled 2023 sunset of the necessity that a Upcoming Gen Tv station’s ATSC 1. major online video programming stream be “substantially similar” to its 3. principal programming stream. The FCC also seeks comment on the scheduled 2023 sunset of the need that a Subsequent Gen Tv set station comply with the current ATSC A/322 technological standard.  In addition, the FCC seeks reviews on irrespective of whether the technological innovation for ATSC 3. has been produced available on good terms by the patent holders for that needed technological know-how.  Replies in this continuing will be because of on September 6.

Also thanks this month, on August 22, are Reply Remarks on a proposal for the FCC to begin a rulemaking to consider the adoption of a new Material Seller Range Report. A community fascination team has requested the Fee to have to have this report to acquire info on the race and ethnicity of workers and senior leadership of vendors of movie material to the two standard media and streaming services.  The asked for remarks are intended to notify the FCC as to no matter if it really should shift forward to overview this proposal.  (Request for Feedback)

The last comment date of be aware is August 29, when responses are owing on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  on whether or not to update FCC procedures to identify a new Nielsen publication for identifying a television station’s selected industry location (“DMA”) for satellite and cable carriage applications. Nielsen has notified the FCC that it will no for a longer time publish its Station Index Listing, which has historically been made use of in combination with the Nielsen Station Index and United States Television House Estimates to establish a station’s DMA for carriage purposes. Reply Opinions in this proceeding will be due September 26.

In the course of the month, starting on August 8, the a lot of radio stations whose license renewals ended up granted in the very last year matter to a consent decree requiring reporting on political file uploads have to have to start compiling information about those people political orders for their year-conclude report.  That report is owing on December 9.  The report includes not only information about the timeliness of political file uploads for the a few months prior to the November 8 election, but also the licensee’s compliance with the other obligations set out in the consent decree.

As usually, this listing of dates is not exhaustive.  Usually evaluate these dates with your lawful and complex advisors, and take note other dates not shown below that might be appropriate to your operations.  Remain on top of all of your regulatory obligations even throughout the canine times of August!