Earlier this year, the FCC revised Form 398, the Children's Television Programming Report, to incorporate new questions relating to the broadcast of programming on stations' digital program streams. Forms 398 for the second quarter of this year were due July 10, 2007. With the June 10, 2007 deadline for filing first-quarter reports past and the next filing deadline quickly approaching, the following provides a summary of broadcasters' frequently asked questions regarding the intricacies of the revised reports.
If our station only broadcasts one digital program stream (i.e. does not multi-cast), how should we answer Questions 8 and 11?
If your station broadcasts only one digital program stream, this is your main program stream, and the answers to Questions 8(a) and 8(b) should be "0." For Question 11, you should answer "No" and attach an exhibit, uploaded in .pdf format, explaining that the station does not multi-cast, and therefore this question is not applicable.
If our station only broadcasts one digital program stream and this material is a simulcast of what is broadcast on the analog channel, how should we answer Questions 9 and 10?
Question 9 should be answered "Yes," and the same information you provided in Question 3 should be provided here. For Question 10 (digital core programming), you do not need to repeat the programming information you supply in Question 4 (analog core programming) if your core programming is simulcast on the analog and main digital program stream (i.e., you can leave Question 10 blank).
Our analog programming is simulcast on our digital program stream, except for two hours on Saturday. This difference in programming does not impact any children's programming. Does the two hours when the programming is not simulcast count as an additional program stream?
No; therefore, you should still answer "0" to Question 8(a).
We advertise our digital channel as 16.1 (analog channel + .1), but the FCC's form will only allow input of two digits in the relevant box at Question 1. How do we answer this question?
The station's digital channel is the digital channel assigned by the Commission, and not necessarily the channel you use to advertise your digital program streams. Please ask your station engineer for this information. You can also locate this information on the FCC's website, at http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/sta_sear.htm. Enter the station's call sign, click on "click for details," and the station's digital channel will be at the bottom of the page.
Our station's renewal application has not yet been granted. For Question 1, do I use the expired license renewal date or another date as the "license renewal expiration date"?
You should use your expired license renewal date if your current license renewal application has not yet been granted.
Our station has not finished constructing its digital station. How do we fill out the digital section of the form?
In Question 1, leave the digital channel number box blank. Then, do not answer any questions in the digital section of the form (Questions 7-13). In Question 17, include a brief explanation regarding the fact that the station is not broadcasting any digital program streams.
This solution will also work for those stations that have been allowed to surrender their analog channel and are operating only in digital. In these cases, leave the analog channel box blank in Question 1, then do not answer Questions 2-6. In Question 17, include a brief explanation of the fact that the station has been allowed to return its digital channel and operate only in digital.