FCC Sets Final Deadlines to File for Repack Reimbursement

The FCC has set final filing deadlines to submit all remaining invoices and other documentation for reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund.

Key Final Submission Deadlines

October 8, 2021 Phases 1-5 Repacked Stations
March 22, 2022 Phases 6-10 (and post-Phase 10) Repacked Stations
September 5, 2022 All Other Entities (MVPDs, FM stations, LPTV and Translator Stations)
July 3, 2023 All unobligated amounts in the fund are returned to the U.S. Treasury

Stations that changed Phases should meet the deadline associated with their revised Phase.

Two-Step Close Out Process

Interim Close-Out. When an entity has submitted all of its invoices and supporting documentation, it must notify the Media Bureau using the Reimbursement Form. The Fund Administrator then provides the entity with a financial reconciliation statement that details verified estimated amounts; allocated amounts; amounts requested for reimbursement; and amounts disbursed by the FCC. If any overpayments are discovered, the entity is notified that it must return excess amounts to the FCC. Once the financial reconciliation statement has been reviewed by the station and any necessary changes made, it must file an executed version of the financial reconciliation statement with the Fund Administrator, after which the FCC will issue an interim close-out letter.

Final Close-Out. After all or nearly all entities eligible for reimbursement from the Fund have entered the interim close-out process, the FCC may make a final allocation to reimburse the entity for the total amount of remaining incurred expenses. At that time, each entity will enter the final close-out procedures and receive a final close-out letter. That final close-out letter will serve as the official notice of account close-out, include a summary of any financial changes that occurred during the interim closing period, and remind entities of their ongoing document retention requirements.

Extensions

The FCC does not anticipate granting extensions of the assigned submission deadlines. In the unlikely event that an entity faces circumstances beyond its control, a limited extension by means of shifting an entity with the first or second deadline assignment to the second or third deadline assignment may be considered. An entity requesting such a shift will have to provide evidence that circumstances requiring the extension were outside of its control, such as local zoning or a force majeure event occurring proximate to the final submission deadline.

Audits

Reimbursement funds are subject to audit; therefore, stations should be able to prove that funds received for each invoice were actually paid to the respective vendor. Stations that are not able to provide documentation may be required to return the funds to the government. Documentation should be retained for a period of 10 years.

If you have questions about the FCC’s repack reimbursement process, please contact any attorney in our office.

Categories: Broadcast and Media

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