Alert

FCC Waives Requirement to Broadcast Pre-Filing Announcements for June 1 Renewals

April 9, 2020

On April 9, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC or Commission) Media Bureau issued an Order waiving the requirement for broadcasters whose licenses are scheduled to expire on October 1, 2020, to broadcast pre-filing announcements.

Under the Section 73.3580 of the Commission’s Rules, operating broadcast stations must broadcast on-air announcements beginning six months prior to the month on which their license will expire (two months before the deadline to file their renewal application). The FCC is currently considering whether to eliminate this requirement.

Due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including the loss of revenue experienced by broadcast stations and the need to cover breaking news and air public service announcements, the Media Bureau determined that it is in the public interest to waive the requirement to air pre-filing announcements for the next set of renewals. The waiver applies only to broadcast licenses scheduled to expire on October 1, 2020 (for which renewal applications are due on or before June 1, 2020) and only to pre-filing announcements. Stations must still broadcast post-filing announcements after they have filed their renewal applications.

The Media Bureau indicated that it will monitor the status of the COVID-19 outbreak to determine whether further relief is warranted.

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