Media Bureau Opens Up Twin LPTV Dockets


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The FCC’s Media Bureau on Monday opened up a pair of dockets that are designed to update the Commission’s rules as it pertains to low-power television stations. One of the two dockets also impacts TV translator and Class A TV stations.

The first, MB Docket No. 24-147, deals with “Political Programming and Online Public File Requirements for Low Power Television Stations.”

It comes alongside MB Docket No. 24-148, an “Amendment of the Commission’s Rules to Advance the Low Power Television, TV Translator and Class A Television Service.”

What would the NPRM featuring these two dockets accomplish?

It would do the following:

• Seek comment on whether to require top-four network affiliated LPTV stations to comply with the same online public file (OPIF) requirements applicable to full power and Class A television stations, or alternatively whether OPIF requirements should be applied to LPTV stations that are among the top-four TV stations in each market based on the Nielsen ratings.
• Propose to adopt procedures for LPTV stations to establish an OPIF, and propose to make public inspection and political broadcasting rules applicable to all LPTV stations.
• Propose technical and operational amendments to our rules, including whether to:
o Amend the method for calculating the maximum distance that a displaced or channel sharing station may move under our displacement rule.
o Clarify the maximum distance that Class A and LPTV/TV translator stations may move under our minor modification rule.
o Require that Class A and LPTV/TV translator stations specify a community of license within their station’s contour.
o Adopt minimum operating and defined minimum video program requirements for LPTV stations.
o Require stations in the LPTV Service seek authority to change designation and maintain a call sign consistent with their class of service.
o Specify requirements pertaining to emissions masks.
o Prohibit LPTV/TV translator station operations above TV channel 36.
o Clarify the circumstances in which LPTV/TV translators stations are eligible for displacement.

Presentations are subject to “permit-but-disclose” ex parte rules.

Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or
a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission’s ex parte rules, including the general prohibition on presentations (written and oral) on matters listed on the Sunshine Agenda, which is typically released a week prior to the Commission’s meeting.



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