The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice announcing the opening of its window for full-power and Class A TV stations not repacked during the incentive auction to improve their facilities – the first opportunity to do so since the FCC froze TV minor change applications in 2013 in anticipation of the incentive auction. We wrote about the coming of this window in our article here. The window will be open from November 27 through December 7.
The idea with the opening of this window is for full-power TV stations to get an opportunity to do upgrades now, to essentially get them out of the system before the window for LPTV stations to file for displacement channels takes place (see our article here on the LPTV displacement window). The fear was that, if this window did not give full-power stations an opportunity to file, LPTV stations displaced by the auction and repacking of the TV spectrum could end up being displaced after their displacement window on any new channels that they obtain by full-power stations seeking new facilities. While, certainly, LPTV stations can be displaced in the future, the hope is that this window will drain some of the demand out of the marketplace to hopefully limit LPTV displacements in the future.