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FCC Ends TV Station Minor Modification Freeze

FCC seal
(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—The long winter for TV station minor modifications is coming to an end, as the FCC has announced that it is set to lift the filing window freeze of certain full power and Class A TV station minor modification applications that has been in place since 2004.

The Commission initially instituted the freeze as it prepared for the DTV transition, and then extended it when the incentive spectrum auction and TV repack were taking place. Following the completion of the DTV transition in 2009 and the repack on July 13 of this year, the freeze has been lifted for the following actions: 

  • Petitions for rulemaking to change channels in the DTV Table of Allotments; 
  • Petitions for rulemaking for new DTV Allotments; 
  • Petitions to swap in-core channels; 
  • Petitions for rulemaking to change communities of license; and 
  • Modification applications that increase a full power or Class A station’s service area beyond an area that is already served 

For some stations the freeze was lifted in July if they were still in the process of repacking. 

There are still currently freezes on the filing of minor modification, displacement or digital companion channel applications for low power TV and TV translator stations. The FCC says that this freeze remains because licensed and permitted LPTV/translator stations are still being displaced as a result of modifications by full service stations as they adjust to their new repacked channels.

The FCC will officially lift the freeze 15 days after it is published in the Federal Register.