$1.75 Billion Reimbursement Process Outlined

WASHINGTON—Last week’s auction payment public notice also addressed reimbursement payments to eligible broadcasters and pay TV operators. Congress set aside $1.75 billion out of the $19.8 billion in auction proceeds to reimburse displaced broadcasters and affected pay TV providers for “reasonably incurred” moving costs.

These reimbursements are to be trued up “within three years” of when the “Closing and Reassignment Public Notice” is released. In the meantime, the FCC’s Media Bureau will make initial allocations available. These will be based on reimbursement estimates submitted by the stations and affected parties. Eligible commercial licensees initially will be able to “draw down” expenses for up to 80 percent of their estimated costs, and non-commercial licensees, up to 90 percent.

The reimbursement estimates will be due around mid-July, using FCC Form 2100, Form 399, released by the Media Bureau on Oct. 30, 2015. These forms are due 90 days after the “Closing and Reassignment Public Notice” is issued in mid-April, or approximately mid-July. Reimbursement applicants will be able to update cost estimates as they adjust purchase plans during the TV channel repack.

The reimbursement process is similar to the payment process for winners in the reverse auction. (See “$10 Billion Payment Process Specified.”) Reimbursement instructions must be communicated to the commission by designated, authorized individuals who must enter bank account information in the Commission’s Registration System, or CORES, Incentive Auction Financial Module. With reimbursements, no more than two authorized individuals per Facility ID can be designated, and no third parties may accept payments in an applicant’s stead.

Bank account information must be submitted bothelectronically into the CORES system by the designated individual and via signed and notarized hard copy on FCC Form 1876. This form will be available for download from the CORES system. A “separate, original” signed and notarized hard-copy Form 1876 must be submitted for “each reassigned station and for each [pay TV provider] that incurs reimbursable costs.”

Hard copy forms must be mailed to:
Federal Communications Commission
Travel & Operations Group, Attn: Chief of TOG
9300 East Hampton Dr.
Capitol Heights, MD 20743

The entire process must be undertaken again to modify bank account information or change it in the event that a station is sold and issued a new Facility ID number.

For more TV Technology coverage, see our spectrum auction silo.

Also see…
Oct. 4, 2016
FCC Launches TV Station Reimbursement Beta Test
The beta environment automatically will be open to all broadcasters with an active facility associated with their FCC registration number and password in the commission’s License and Management System database.

March 25, 2016,
Repack Reimbursement Process Outlined,”
Pre-auction planning expenses may comprise tower mapping or other engineering consultation work.