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FCC Issues Notices of Liability for PSIP Violations

The FCC responded to Entravision Holdings, LLC TV stations' request for an extension of time to implement the ATSC A/65B PSIP standard by Feb. 1, 2005. "This letter also constitutes a NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE against Entravision Holdings, LLC (Entravision) for violation of Section 73.682(d) of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. Section 73.682(d), by failing to timely implement the PSIP standard," the letter stated.

Entravision cited difficulty in obtaining equipment from the manufacturer as the reason for the extension. In a letter to Entravision Holdings, LLC regarding KCEC-DT in Denver, Colo., the FCC responded, "The delay in compliance with PSIP implementation does not appear to be for reasons wholly beyond your control, and/or suggests that you have not committed to a reasonable implementation schedule for meeting this requirement. A reasonable period of time was provided by the Commission for PSIP implementation, and, upon request of a licensee, we have been willing to grant a temporary waiver of the compliance deadline on a case-by-case basis in order to accommodate unforeseen circumstances, such as manufacturers' backlogs."

The letter goes on to say that Entravision did not seek a waiver prior to the compliance deadline, and the company did not provide sufficient information for the FCC to be convinced that Entravision was too strapped for time to overcome the problems.

"Nevertheless, you will be afforded an additional 90 days to fully comply with the PSIP implementation requirement," the letter concluded.

Although it granted KCEC-DT an additional 90 days for PSIP implementation, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture because, "the licensee did not comply with the PSIP deadline by the Feb. 1, 2005 date nor did it seek relief from the deadline by filing a timely request for a waiver or extension of the deadline," the FCC concluded.

The FCC set the base forfeiture amount at $3,000. While it said failure to comply with the PSIP implementation standard was "closely analogous" to failure to install or operate EAS equipment, which carries a base forfeiture amount of $8,000, "we do not believe that your failure in this case is of the magnitude or is as egregious as those related to EAS."

To view this and other letters from the FCC regarding PSIP compliance, see the "Texts" section of the FCC Daily Digest for July 26, 2005.