2010 promises to be an interesting year for broadcasters as the broadcast industry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Congress and others grapple with important questions such as spectrum usage, the future of journalism, and emerging digital technologies, to name but a few.

Although larger questions such as media usage and changing advertising markets will undoubtedly dominate discussions this year, radio and television broadcasters will continue to face a number of regular quarterly and annual regulatory filings necessary for compliance with the FCC’s rules and the retention of their licenses. These include children's programming reports, EEO public file reports, ownership reports, Quarterly Issues Programs lists, and annual FCC regulatory fees, all of which are required over the course of the year.

This advisory provides busy broadcasters a useful preview of, and some guidance for, many of the important dates that are already on the calendar. The calendar provided in this advisory is not meant to be exhaustive. Some of these dates will change and additional filing deadlines will be added, however, the calendar will provide broadcasters a roadmap for some of the more universal deadlines that are already visible on the horizon.

Further, some of the filing dates are unknown at this point, such as the deadline for commercial broadcast stations to file the revised FCC Form 323 Biennial Ownership Report. Originally slated for a Jan. 11, 2010, filing date, the FCC indefinitely suspended the filing of biennial ownership reports by an Order released in late December 2009. The Commission is taking additional time to address certain issues and revise the new form. So while all commercial stations will now file a biennial ownership report on a single unified date, as of this writing the exact date of the deadline is unknown. The date will be determined by when the FCC revises and re-releases the new FCC Form 323 Ownership Report for commercial broadcast stations.

We will provide additional information about the ownership reports for commercial stations in subsequent advisories and on our blog at www.broadcastlawblog.com. Please note, however, that noncommercial broadcast stations continue to file biennial reports based on the anniversary of the license renewal filing date for the station’s state and type of service (radio or TV). Noncommercial broadcasters continue to use the FCC Form 323-E Noncommercial Ownership Report, which thus far remains unchanged. Dates for the filing of ownership reports for noncommercial broadcasters have been included in this advisory where appropriate, but again, those deadlines apply only to noncommercial stations.

2010 brings a number of federal elections and the related political broadcasting windows for affording qualified candidates the Lowest Unit Rates. We have included the Lowest Unit Rate periods—which begin 45 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election—for the known federal races in the following calendar. But there are also state and local elections that will arise this year—each with its own Lowest Unit Charge windows, not reflected on this calendar and not necessarily the same as the dates for federal elections in a state.

Although the Commission’s rules requiring additional disclosure concerning the public interest programming of full-power television and Class A low-power television stations have not yet gone into effect, these requirements might return in 2010. More than two years ago the Commission adopted rules that will require the posting of at least some portion of the television station public inspection file on the station's Web site, if it has one. The Commission has also adopted a standardized form for the quarterly reporting of programs aired by television stations responsive to the needs and interests of their communities.

However, neither of these requirements has yet gone into effect, since they have not been approved by the Office of Management and Budget as being in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. Once these rules and forms are available and become effective, television stations will have additional filing obligations and public file requirements, which are not reflected in this advisory. Additional information about these obligations will be released in subsequent advisories and on our blog.

We have also included as a reminder the monthly obligations to pay SoundExchange royalties for streaming of music on the Internet and the associated requirement that Internet radio stations report the songs played at the same time as they pay their monthly fee.

Here are some of the important dates for 2010:

January 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • January 10 – FCC Form 398 Children's Television Programming Reports Due. By Jan.10, all commercial full-power television stations and Class A LPTV stations must prepare and file an FCC Form 398 Children's Programming Report for the fourth quarter of 2009 with the FCC.
  • January 10 – Children's Television Commercial Limitations Certification. In addition to broadcasting programming responsive to the educational and informational needs of children, the FCC's rules limit the amount of commercial material that can be aired during programming aimed at children. In order to demonstrate compliance with this rule, stations must prepare and place proof of compliance with the commercial limitations in the public inspection file every quarter. Thus, by Jan. 10, stations must prepare and place in their public inspection files proof of compliance with the children's television commercial limitations for the fourth quarter of 2009.
  • January 10 – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists. By Jan. 10, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare and place in their public inspection files a list of important issues facing their communities, and the programs aired in the months of October, November and December dealing with those issues.
  • January 10 – Class A LPTV Stations Demonstration of Continuing Compliance. The FCC requires that Class A TV stations maintain in their public files sufficient information to demonstrate their continuing eligibility for Class A status—e.g., that they have broadcast three hours per week of local programming, broadcast 18 hours a day, and otherwise observed the rules that apply to full-power TV stations. While the FCC has not mandated that this report or certification be made quarterly, the preparation of the Quarterly Issues Programs lists would seem to provide a good opportunity to prepare such documentation. Accordingly, by this date, Class A stations are encouraged to prepare and place in their public inspection files information sufficient to support their continued eligibility for Class A status.
  • January 10 – FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Reports Due. Any full-power digital television stations that have not yet completed their full authorized DTV facilities and that presently serve less than their former authorized analog service area (i.e., stations that do not reach all of their pre-transition viewers) are required to continue DTV consumer education efforts until their request for authorization to operate with such facilities has been withdrawn or denied, or until a granted authorization has expired. Accordingly, any such stations—of which there are only a handful remaining in the country—must continue to file FCC Form 388 quarterly reports summarizing their efforts, up to and including the final quarter in which they have active educational requirements. Thus, by Jan. 10, any such full-power television stations must electronically file an FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report with the FCC detailing the station's efforts to educate viewers about the digital television (DTV) transition.

     Other Deadlines:

  • January 14 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Jan. 14, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending Nov. 30, 2009, and report the songs they streamed.
  • January 16 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. Jan. 16 marks the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on March 2. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the state holding its Congressional primary on March 2 is Texas.
  • January 31 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Jan. 31, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the minimum annual copyright royalty fee of $500 per channel or per station to SoundExchange. Small broadcasters (those streaming less than 27,777 aggregate tuning hours each year), who are exempt from reporting to SoundExchange the songs they play, must file a Notice of Election certifying that they still qualify for this exemption by Jan. 31. Noncommercial webcasters, including noncommercial broadcasters who stream their programming on the Web, must also file a Notice of Election with SoundExchange in order to be covered by the settlement entered into under the Webcasters Settlement Agreement (except NPR affiliates, whose filing and reporting obligations are covered by an organization appointed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting).

February 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • February 1 – FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Reports Due for Noncommercial Stations Only in the Following Select States. By Feb. 1, noncommercial radio stations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York, and noncommercial television stations in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma must prepare and file electronically an FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Report with the FCC. Please note, commercial stations now file their biennial ownership reports on a single unified date, which for 2010 will be determined by when the FCC revises and re-releases the new FCC Form 323 Ownership Report for commercial broadcast stations.
  • February 1 – Annual EEO Public File Report. By Feb. 1, radio and television station employment units in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma must place in their Public Inspection File and post on their Web site, if they have one, their FCC Annual EEO Public File Report.
  • February 1 – FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report Due for Select States. In addition to preparing the Annual EEO Public File Report, by Feb. 1, television stations in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma, and radio stations in New Jersey and New York with 11 or more full-time employees must also prepare and file electronically with the Commission an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report.

Other Deadlines:

  • February 14 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Feb. 14, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending Dec. 31, 2009, and report the songs they streamed.

March 2010

FCC Deadlines:

None

Other Deadlines:

  • March 16 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By March 16, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending Jan. 31, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.
  • March 20 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. March 20 marks the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on May 4. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on May 4 are: Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio.
  • March 27 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. March 27 marks the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on May 11. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on May 11 are: Nebraska and West Virginia.

April 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • April 1 – FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Reports Due for Noncommercial Stations Only in the Following Select States. By April 1, noncommercial radio stations in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, and noncommercial television stations in Texas must prepare and file electronically an FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Report with the FCC. Please note, commercial stations now file their biennial ownership reports on a single unified date, which for 2010 will be determined by when the FCC revises and re-releases the new FCC Form 323 Ownership Report for commercial broadcast stations.
  • April 1 – Annual EEO Public File Report. By April 1, radio and television station employment units in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas and must place in their Public Inspection File and post on their Web site, if they have one, their FCC Annual EEO Public File Report.
  • April 1 – FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report Due for Select States. In addition to preparing the Annual EEO Public File Report, by April 1, television stations in Texas, and radio stations in Delaware and Pennsylvania with 11 or more full-time employees must also prepare and file electronically with the Commission an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report.
  • April 10 – FCC Form 398 Children's Television Programming Reports Due. By April 10, all commercial full-power television stations and Class A LPTV stations must prepare and file an FCC Form 398 Children's Programming Report for the first quarter of 2010 with the FCC.
  • April 10 – Children's Television Commercial Limitations Certification. In addition to broadcasting programming responsive to the educational and informational needs of children, the FCC's rules limit the amount of commercial material that can be aired during programming aimed at children. In order to demonstrate compliance with this rule, stations must prepare and place proof of compliance with the commercial limitations in the public inspection file every quarter. Thus, by April 10, stations must prepare and place in their public inspection files proof of compliance with the children's television commercial limitations for the first quarter of 2010.
  • April 10 – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists. By April 10, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare and place in their public inspection files a list of important issues facing their communities, and the programs aired in the months of January, February and March dealing with those issues.
  • April 10 – Class A LPTV Stations Demonstration of Continuing Compliance. The FCC requires that Class A TV stations maintain in their public files sufficient information to demonstrate their continuing eligibility for Class A status—e.g., that they have broadcast three hours per week of local programming, broadcast 18 hours a day, and otherwise observed the rules that apply to full-power TV stations. While the FCC has not mandated that this report or certification be made quarterly, the preparation of the Quarterly Issues Programs lists would seem to provide a good opportunity to prepare such documentation. Accordingly, by this date, Class A stations are encouraged to prepare and place in their public inspection files information sufficient to support their continued eligibility for Class A status.
  • April 10 – FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Reports Due. Any full-power digital television stations that have not yet completed their full authorized DTV facilities and that presently serve less than their former authorized analog service area (i.e., stations that do not reach all of their pre-transition viewers) are required to continue DTV consumer education efforts until their request for authorization to operate with such facilities has been withdrawn or denied, or until a granted authorization has expired. Accordingly, any such stations—of which there are only a handful remaining in the country—must continue to file FCC Form 388 quarterly reports summarizing their efforts, up to and including the final quarter in which they have active educational requirements. Thus, by April 10, any such full-power television stations must electronically file an FCC Form 388 DTV Quarterly Activity Station Report with the FCC detailing the station's efforts to educate viewers about the digital television (DTV) transition.

Other Deadlines:

  • April 3 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. April 3 marks the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on May 18. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on May 18 are: Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
  • April 10 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. April 10 marks the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on May 25. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the state holding its Congressional primary on May 25 is Idaho.
  • April 14 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By April 14, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending Feb. 28, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.
  • April 17 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. April 17 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on June 1. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on June 1 are: Alabama, Mississippi and New Mexico.
  • April 24 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. April 24 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on June 8. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on June 8 are: California, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia.

May 2010

FCC Deadlines:

None

Other Deadlines:

  • May 8 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. May 8 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on June 22. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the state holding its Congressional primary on June 22 is Utah.
  • May 15 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By May 15, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending March 31, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.

June 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • June 1 – FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Reports Due for Noncommercial Stations Only in the Following Select States. By June 1, noncommercial television stations in Arizona, District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming, and noncommercial radio stations in Michigan and Ohio must prepare and file electronically an FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Report with the FCC. Please note, commercial stations now file their biennial ownership reports on a single unified date, which for 2010 will be determined by when the FCC revises and re-releases the new FCC Form 323 Ownership Report for commercial broadcast stations.
  • June 1 – Annual EEO Public File Report. By June 1 radio and television station employment units in Arizona, District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming must place in their Public Inspection File and post on their Web site, if they have one, their FCC Annual EEO Public File Report.
  • June 1 – FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report Due for Select States. In addition to preparing the Annual EEO Public File Report, by June 1, television stations in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming must also prepare and file electronically with the Commission an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report.

 

Other Deadlines:

  • June 5 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. June 5 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on July 20. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the state holding its Congressional primary on July 20 is Georgia.
  • June 12 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. June 12 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on July 27. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the state holding its Congressional primary on July 27 is Oklahoma.
  • June 14 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By June 14, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending April 30, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.
  • June 19 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. June 19 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Aug. 3. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on Aug. 3 are: Kansas, Michigan and Missouri.
  • June 21 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. June 21 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Aug. 5. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the state holding its Congressional primary on Aug. 5 is Tennessee.
  • June 26 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. June 26 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Aug. 10. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on Aug. 10 are: Colorado and Connecticut.

July 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • July 10 – FCC Form 398 Children's Television Programming Reports Due. By July 10, all commercial full-power television stations and Class A LPTV stations must prepare and file an FCC Form 398 Children's Programming Report for the second quarter of 2010 with the FCC.
  • July 10 – Children's Television Commercial Limitations Certification. In addition to broadcasting programming responsive to the educational and informational needs of children, the FCC's rules limit the amount of commercial material that can be aired during programming aimed at children. In order to demonstrate compliance with this rule, stations must prepare and place proof of compliance with the commercial limitations in the public inspection file every quarter. Thus, by July 10, stations must prepare and place in their public inspection files proof of compliance with the children's television commercial limitations for the second quarter of 2010.
  • July 10 – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists. By July 10, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare and place in their public inspection files a list of important issues facing their communities, and the programs aired in the months of April, May and June dealing with those issues.
  • July 10 – Class A LPTV Stations Demonstration of Continuing Compliance. The FCC requires that Class A TV stations maintain in their public files sufficient information to demonstrate their continuing eligibility for Class A status—e.g., that they have broadcast three hours per week of local programming, broadcast 18 hours a day, and otherwise observed the rules that apply to full-power TV stations. While the FCC has not mandated that this report or certification be made quarterly, the preparation of the Quarterly Issues Programs lists would seem to provide a good opportunity to prepare such documentation. Accordingly, by this date, Class A stations are encouraged to prepare and place in their public inspection files information sufficient to support their continued eligibility for Class A status.

Other Deadlines:

  • July 3 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. July 3 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Aug. 17. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on Aug. 17 are: Washington and Wyoming.
  • July 10 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. July 10 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Aug. 24. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on Aug. 24 are: Alaska, Arizona and Florida.
  • July 14 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. July 14 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Aug. 28. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the state holding its Congressional primary on Aug. 28 is Louisiana.
  • July 15 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By July 15, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending May 31, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.
  • July 21 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. July 21 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on September 4. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the territory holding its Congressional primary on July 21 is Guam.
  • July 28 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. July 28 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Sept. 11. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the territory holding its Congressional primary on Sept. 11 is the Virgin Islands.
  • July 31 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. July 31 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Sept. 14. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, states holding their Congressional primary on Sept. 14 are: Delaware, Washington, DC, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.
  • July 31 – Copyright Royalty Claims Due for Eligible Television Stations. Parties interested in seeking compensation from the cable and satellite royalty funds for the year 2008 must file the appropriate form with the Copyright Royalty Board by July 31, 2010. Under the Copyright Act, cable systems and satellite operators that retransmit over-the-air broadcast television signals to the public must pay a compulsory fee to the Copyright Royalty Board each year. In turn, the copyright holders whose works were contained in those broadcasts may seek compensation for the retransmission of the work.

Accordingly, television stations with programming that they have produced and for which they hold the copyright, and whose signals were either carried as a distant signal on a cable system in 2008, or were rebroadcast by a direct-to-home satellite television carrier is eligible to file a claim for compensation with the Copyright Royalty Board. The royalties paid as a result of such a claim compensates the television station for the rebroadcast of their copyrighted material as a distant signal on the cable system or by the satellite operator.

Claims may be filed during the month of July either online at the Copyright Royalty Board Web site, http://www.loc.gov/crb/claims/, or in paper with the Copyright Royalty Board, located at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Online requests must be received no later than 5 p.m. EDT. on July 31; hand-delivered claims no later than 5 p.m. E.D.T. on July 31; claims delivered by commercial courier no later than 4 p.m. EDT. on July 31; and if by U.S. mail the claim must have sufficient postage and bear a July U.S. Postal Service postmark. Federal Express, United Parcel Service and similar overnight delivery services may not be used for the filing of these claims.

August 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • August 1 – FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Reports Due for Noncommercial Stations Only in the Following Select States. By Aug. 1, noncommercial television stations in California, North Carolina and South Carolina, and noncommercial radio stations in Illinois and Wisconsin must prepare and file electronically an FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Report with the FCC. Please note, commercial stations now file their biennial ownership reports on a single unified date, which for 2010 will be determined by when the FCC revises and re-releases the new FCC Form 323 Ownership Report for commercial broadcast stations.
  • August 1 – Annual EEO Public File Report. By Aug. 1, radio and television station employment units in California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin must place in their Public Inspection File and post on their Web site, if they have one, their FCC Annual EEO Public File Report.
  • August 1 – FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report Due for Select States. In addition to preparing the Annual EEO Public File Report, by Aug. 1, television stations in California must also prepare and file electronically with the Commission an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report.

Other Deadlines:

  • August 4 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. Aug. 4 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the Congressional primaries to be held on Sept. 18. According to the list of Congressional primary dates available on the Federal Election Commission’s Web site, the state holding its Congressional primary on Sept.18 is Hawaii.
  • August 14 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Aug. 14, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending June 30, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.

September 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • September – Annual FCC Regulatory Fees Due. Although the precise date will not be determined until the summer, the deadline for paying the FCC's Annual Regulatory Fees is typically mid-September. Broadcasters must pay their FCC Annual Regulatory Fees by the deadline established by the FCC, or else face a 25 percent penalty, and the possible delay or dismissal of any pending applications. The Annual Regulatory Fees will cover the period from Oct. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2010.

Other Deadlines:

  • September 3 – Lowest Unit Rate Window Opens. Sept. 3 is the first day of the Lowest Unit Rate Period for the General Election to be held on Nov. 2, 2010
  • September 14 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Sept. 14, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending July 31, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.

October 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • October 1 – FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Reports Due for Noncommercial Stations Only in the Following Select States. By Oct. 1, noncommercial television stations in Alaska, American Samoa, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Mariana Islands, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Washington, and noncommercial radio stations in Iowa and Missouri must prepare and file electronically an FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Report with the FCC. Please note, commercial stations now file their biennial ownership reports on a single unified date, which for 2010 will be determined by when the FCC revises and re-releases the new FCC Form 323 Ownership Report for commercial broadcast stations.
  • October 1 – Annual EEO Public File Report. By Oct. 1, radio and television station employment units in Alaska, American Samoa, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Mariana Islands, Missouri, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Washington must place in their Public Inspection File and post on their Web site, if they have one, their FCC Annual EEO Public File Report.
  • October 1 – FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report Due for Select States. In addition to preparing the Annual EEO Public File Report, by Oct. 1, television stations in Alaska, American Samoa, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Mariana Islands, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Washington must also prepare and file electronically with the Commission an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report.
  • October 10 – FCC Form 398 Children's Television Programming Reports Due. By Oct. 10, all commercial full-power television stations and Class A LPTV stations must prepare and file an FCC Form 398 Children's Programming Report for the third quarter of 2010 with the FCC.
  •  October 10 – Children's Television Commercial Limitations Certification. In addition to broadcasting programming responsive to the educational and informational needs of children, the FCC's rules limit the amount of commercial material that can be aired during programming aimed at children. In order to demonstrate compliance with this rule, stations must prepare and place proof of compliance with the commercial limitations in the public inspection file every quarter. Thus, by Oct. 10, stations must prepare and place in their public inspection files proof of compliance with the children's television commercial limitations for the third quarter of 2010.
  •  October 10 – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists. By Oct. 10, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare and place in their public inspection files a list of important issues facing their communities, and the programs aired in the months of July, August and September dealing with those issues.
  • October 10 – Class A LPTV Stations Demonstration of Continuing Compliance. The FCC requires that Class A TV stations maintain in their public files sufficient information to demonstrate their continuing eligibility for Class A status—e.g., that they have broadcast three hours per week of local programming, broadcast 18 hours a day, and otherwise observed the rules that apply to full-power TV stations. While the FCC has not mandated that this report or certification be made quarterly, the preparation of the Quarterly Issues Programs lists would seem to provide a good opportunity to prepare such documentation. Accordingly, by this date, Class A stations are encouraged to prepare and place in their public inspection files information sufficient to support their continued eligibility for Class A status.

Other Deadlines:

  • October 15 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Oct. 15, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending Aug. 31, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.

November 2010

FCC Deadlines:

None

Other Deadlines:

  • November 14 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Nov. 14, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending Sept. 30, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.

December 2010

FCC Deadlines:

  • December 1 – FCC Form 317 Due for DTV Stations. By Dec. 1, 2010, licensees and permittees of commercial and noncommercial digital television stations must file an FCC Form 317 electronically reporting on whether the station has provided any ancillary and supplementary services during the 12- month period ending on Sept. 30, 2010. In addition, if the station did provide such services and generated any revenue from such services, then the station must also remit the required fee, equivalent to five percent of the gross revenues derived from such service, to the FCC by Dec. 1.
  • December 1 – FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Reports Due for Noncommercial Stations Only in the Following Select States. By Dec. 1, noncommercial television stations in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and noncommercial radio stations in Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota must prepare and file electronically an FCC Form 323-E Biennial Ownership Report with the FCC. Please note, commercial stations now file their biennial ownership reports on a single unified date, which for 2010 will be determined by when the FCC revises and re-releases the new FCC Form 323 Ownership Report for commercial broadcast stations.
  • December 1 – Annual EEO Public File Report. By Dec. 1, radio and television station employment units in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont must place in their Public Inspection File and post on their Web site, if they have one, their FCC Annual EEO Public File Report.
  • December 1 – FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report Due for Select States. In addition to preparing the Annual EEO Public File Report, by Dec. 1 television stations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont must also prepare and file electronically with the Commission an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report.

Other Deadlines:

  • December 15 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Dec. 15, 2010, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending Oct. 31, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.

January 2011

FCC Deadlines:

  • January 10 – FCC Form 398 Children's Television Programming Reports Due. By Jan. 10, all commercial full-power television stations and Class A LPTV stations must prepare and file an FCC Form 398 Children's Programming Report for the fourth quarter of 2010 with the FCC.
  • January 10 – Children's Television Commercial Limitations Certification. In addition to broadcasting programming responsive to the educational and informational needs of children, the FCC's rules limit the amount of commercial material that can be aired during programming aimed at children. In order to demonstrate compliance with this rule, stations must prepare and place proof of compliance with the commercial limitations in the public inspection file every quarter. Thus, by Jan. 10, stations must prepare and place in their public inspection files proof of compliance with the children's television commercial limitations for the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • January 10 – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists. By Jan. 10, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare and place in their public inspection files a list of important issues facing their communities, and the programs aired in the months of October, November and December dealing with those issues.
  • January 10 – Class A LPTV Stations Demonstration of Continuing Compliance. The FCC requires that Class A TV stations maintain in their public files sufficient information to demonstrate their continuing eligibility for Class A status—e.g., that they have broadcast three hours per week of local programming, broadcast 18 hours a day, and otherwise observed the rules that apply to full-power TV stations. While the FCC has not mandated that this report or certification be made quarterly, the preparation of the Quarterly Issues Programs lists would seem to provide a good opportunity to prepare such documentation. Accordingly, by this date, Class A stations are encouraged to prepare and place in their public inspection files information sufficient to support their continued eligibility for Class A status.

Other Deadlines:

  • January 14 – Copyright Royalties for Internet Streaming. By Jan. 14, webcasters, including radio stations simulcasting their programming on the Web, must pay the monthly royalty fee to SoundExchange for music streamed by the webcaster during the month ending Nov. 30, 2010, and report the songs they streamed.