Media Bureau Lifts Freezes for Television Minor Modification Applications and Rulemaking Petitions

Wiley Rein LLP

On October 29, 2020, the Media Bureau provided notice that it will be lifting multiple freezes that have prevented broadcasters from requesting modifications to the facilities of certain full power and Class A television stations. These freezes had been adopted over the past 16 years to prevent changes to the digital television (DTV) database in preparation, initially, for the digital transition, and then for the incentive auction. Now that both of those events have passed, the freezes were no longer necessary.

Thus, 15 days after publication of this public notice in the Federal Register, stations may again file:

  • Petitions for rulemaking to change channels;
  • Petitions for rulemaking seeking a new DTV allotment;
  • Petitions to swap an in-core channel;
  • Petitions for rulemaking to change a station’s community of license; and
  • Modification applications to increase a full power or Class A television station’s service area.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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