[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 86 (Thursday, May 3, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19459-19461]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-09335]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 73

[MB Docket No. 17-264; FCC 18-41]


Obligations Relating to Submission of FCC Form 2100, Schedule G, 
Used To Report TV Stations' Ancillary or Supplementary Services

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) revises of its rules to relieve certain digital television 
stations of an annual reporting obligation relating to the provision of 
ancillary or supplementary services.

DATES: These rule revisions are effective on May 3, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information on this 
proceeding, contact Raelynn Remy of the Policy Division, Media Bureau 
at [email protected], or (202) 418-2120.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Report 
and Order, FCC 18-41, adopted on April 12, 2018. The full text is 
available for public inspection and copying during regular business 
hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 
445 12th Street SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. This document 
will also be available via ECFS at https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/0413667409173/FCC-18-41A1.pdf. Documents will be available 
electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat. The 
complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 
445 12th Street SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Alternative 
formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large 
print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to 
[email protected] or calling the Commission's Consumer and Governmental 
Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

Synopsis

    1. In this Report and Order (Order), we adopt our proposal to 
revise Sec.  73.624(g) of the Commission's rules to require only those 
digital television (DTV) broadcast stations that actually provided 
feeable ancillary or supplementary services during the relevant 
reporting period to submit Form 2100, Schedule G to the Commission.\1\
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    \1\ 47 CFR 73.624(g)(2); 82 FR 56574. In addition to proposing 
the rule revisions adopted in this Order, the NPRM (see 82 FR 56574 
(Nov. 29, 2017)) also sought comment on possible revisions to Sec.  
73.3580 of the Commission's rules concerning public notice of 
broadcast applications. We will address issues relating to Sec.  
73.3580 at a later date.
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    2. Section 336 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act), 
authorizes DTV stations to offer ancillary or supplementary services in 
addition to their free, over-the-air television service.\2\ Section 
336(e) of the Act directs the Commission to establish a fee program for 
any such services for which the payment of a subscription fee is 
required, or for which the licensee receives compensation from a third 
party in return for transmitting material furnished by that party,\3\ 
otherwise known as ``feeable'' ancillary or supplementary services. 
Under Sec.  336(e)(4), the Commission must advise Congress annually on 
``the amounts collected pursuant to [the fee] program.''
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    \2\ 47 U.S.C. 336.
    \3\ Such compensation excludes advertising revenues used to 
support broadcasting for which a subscription fee is not required.
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    3. To carry out its mandate, the Commission in 1998 adopted rules 
that: (i) Set the fee for feeable ancillary or supplementary services 
at five percent of the gross revenues received from the provision of 
those services; and (ii) require all DTV licensees and permittees 
annually to file Schedule G, which is used to report information about 
their use of the DTV bitstream to provide such services. Such stations 
must submit Schedule G every year even if they provided no ancillary or 
supplementary services during the relevant reporting period. Failure to 
file the form ``regardless of revenues from ancillary or supplementary 
services or provision of such services may result in appropriate 
sanctions.''
    4. In October 2017, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to modify Sec.  73.624(g)(2) to require 
only those DTV stations that provide feeable ancillary or supplementary 
services to submit Schedule G on an annual basis. The following month, 
the Media Bureau, on its own motion, waived the December 1, 2017 
deadline for the filing of Schedule G by DTV stations that received no 
revenues from such services during the reporting period ending 
September 30, 2017, pending Commission action on the proposal to 
eliminate the Sec.  73.264(g)(2) reporting obligation. In response to 
the NPRM, we received no opposition to the proposed revisions to Sec.  
73.624(g).
    5. We adopt our proposal to modify Sec.  73.624(g)(2) of the 
Commission's rules to require only those DTV stations that provide 
feeable ancillary or supplementary services during the relevant 
reporting period to submit Schedule G.\4\ We find persuasive 
commenters' unanimous assertions that requiring all DTV stations to 
file this form, regardless of whether they have provided ancillary or 
supplementary services or received revenue from those services, imposes 
unnecessary regulatory burdens and wastes resources. The record has not 
shown there will be any impact on our ability to discharge our 
statutory obligations by modifying our rules as proposed. Requiring the 
submission of Schedule G only by DTV stations that have provided 
feeable ancillary or supplementary services will continue to provide 
the Commission with the necessary information to assess and collect the 
required fees \5\ and to fulfill its reporting obligation to 
Congress.\6\ Stations that

[[Page 19460]]

provide feeable ancillary or supplementary services and fail to file 
the required information will be subject to appropriate sanctions. In 
addition, as we noted in the NPRM, only a small fraction of all 
television broadcast stations provide feeable ancillary or 
supplementary services. Based on a Media Bureau staff review of 
Schedule G filings, only twelve out of more than 6,000 DTV stations 
required to file Schedule G received revenues from their provision of 
ancillary or supplementary services in 2017, and the Commission 
collected less than $1,300 in fees from those revenues.\7\ We thus 
agree with commenters who assert that the costs of applying Sec.  
73.624(g)(2) to all DTV stations outweigh any associated public 
interest benefits.
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    \4\ As proposed in the NPRM, we also revise Schedule G to 
conform to the rule amendments adopted herein.
    \5\ For example, requiring DTV stations that have provided 
feeable ancillary or supplementary services to file Schedule G will 
allow us to continue to assure that a portion of the value of the 
public spectrum resource made available for commercial use is 
recovered for the public benefit and to avoid unjust enrichment of 
the station.
    \6\ The Commission fulfills its reporting obligation by 
providing the required information in the Video Competition Report, 
which identifies the total reported revenues from ancillary or 
supplementary services and the amount of fees collected by the 
Commission.
    \7\ These totals are based on a review of all Schedule G filings 
for the 2017 reporting period. The data underlying these totals are 
publicly available through the Commission's LMS database application 
search, https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/dataentry/public/tv/publicAppSearch.html.
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    6. We therefore affirm our tentative conclusion that such a broad 
application of the reporting requirement is not necessary to fulfill 
our statutory requirement to ``report to Congress on the [fee] program 
. . . and [give the agency] the information necessary to adjust the fee 
program as appropriate consistent with the use of the spectrum.'' 
Rather, the form-filing requirement will only continue to apply to DTV 
stations that actually receive revenue from feeable services. As some 
parties have noted, waiver of the December 1, 2017 deadline for filing 
Schedule G spared thousands of DTV stations from expending time and 
resources to submit such reports, without compromising the Commission's 
fulfillment of its obligation to report to Congress under section 336. 
For these reasons, we conclude that eliminating this reporting 
obligation for DTV stations that have provided no feeable ancillary or 
supplementary services during the reporting period serves the public 
interest by reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens.
    7. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was 
incorporated in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The 
Commission sought written public comments on proposals in the NPRM, 
including comment on the IRFA. The Commission received no comments on 
the IRFA. The present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) 
conforms to the RFA.
    8. In the Order, we amend Sec.  73.624(g)(2) to relieve television 
broadcasters that have received no feeable revenues from the provision 
of ancillary or supplementary services, and thus are not required to 
pay fees on those revenues, of the obligation to submit FCC Form 2100, 
Schedule G annually. No parties filed comments in response to the IRFA 
or otherwise addressed the impact on smaller entities of the proposed 
revisions to Sec.  73.624(g). In addition, the Chief Counsel for 
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) did not file 
comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.
    9. The Order is authorized pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 
303(r), and 336 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 303(r), and 336. The types of small 
entities that may be affected by the Order fall within the following 
category: Television Broadcasting. The Order adopts no reporting, 
recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements. The Order eliminates 
an annual reporting obligation and the expenditure of resources 
associated with filing the annual reports for a substantial number of 
broadcast stations, including small entities. Because the revisions to 
Sec.  73.624(g) adopted in the Order are unopposed, we expect that DTV 
stations, including affected small entities, will benefit from such 
revisions.
    10. This Order eliminates, and thus does not contain new or 
revised, information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501 through 3520). 
In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified 
``information burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 
employees'' pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 
2002.
    11. The Commission will send a copy of this Order to Congress and 
the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional 
Review Act.
    12. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to the authority 
found in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 303(r), and 336 of the Communications 
Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 303(r), and 
336, this Report and Order is adopted, effective as of the date of 
publication of a summary in the Federal Register.\8\
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    \8\ These rule changes serve to ``reliev[e] a restriction.'' 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(1).
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    13. It is further ordered that, pursuant to the authority found in 
sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 303(r), and 336 of the Communications Act of 
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 303(r), and 336, the 
Commission's rules are hereby amended.
    14. It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of 
this Report and Order in a report to Congress and the Government 
Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 73

    Television.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene Dortch,
Secretary.

Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends part 73 of title 47 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) as set forth below:

PART 73--RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 309, 310, 334, 336, and 339.


0
2. Revise Sec.  73.624(g)(2)(i) and (ii) to read as follows:


Sec.  73.624  Digital television broadcast stations.

* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) Each December 1, all commercial and noncommercial DTV licensees 
and permittees that provided feeable ancillary or supplementary 
services as defined in this section at any point during the 12-month 
period ending on the preceding September 30 will electronically report, 
for the applicable period:
    (A) A brief description of the feeable ancillary or supplementary 
services provided;
    (B) Gross revenues received from all feeable ancillary and 
supplementary services provided during the applicable period; and
    (C) The amount of bitstream used to provide feeable ancillary or 
supplementary services during the applicable period. Licensees and 
permittees will certify under penalty of perjury the accuracy of the 
information reported. Failure to file information required by this 
section may result in appropriate sanctions.
    (ii) A commercial or noncommercial DTV licensee or permittee that 
has provided feeable ancillary or supplementary services at any point 
during a 12-month period ending on September 30 must additionally file 
the

[[Page 19461]]

FCC's standard remittance form (Form 159) on the subsequent December 1. 
Licensees and permittees will certify the amount of gross revenues 
received from feeable ancillary or supplementary services for the 
applicable 12-month period and will remit the payment of the required 
fee.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2018-09335 Filed 5-2-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P