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25 Years of TAB’s Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program

- Voluntary Program Fosters Efficiency, FCC Compliance

TAB’s Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP) next month will celebrate its 25th year of operations. Since Jan. 1, 1997, TAB’s team of inspectors has logged thousands of miles and reviewed hundreds of Texas stations with each review generating an inspection report documenting the station’s FCC compliance and the results of the TAB inspector’s review. 

ABIP inspectors, a group of broadcast engineering veterans, review stations for FCC compliance using the FCC’s self-inspection checklists as a guide. 

The inspections include a review of the physical facilities of the main studios and transmitter site, as well as a review of certain station procedures.

Despite the health concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, TAB’s ABIP team is out inspecting stations by following the CDC’s accepted COVID-19 health safety protocols and stations’ individual onsite Covid safety requirements.

Stations that successfully complete a review earn a three-year waiver from routine or surprise FCC inspection. The waiver comes in the form of a Certificate of Compliance which is typically posted in the lobby of the station.

It is TAB’s goal, in partnership with the FCC, to promote and ensure station compliance with the FCC’s regulations. 

While many stations pass the inspection without issue, those stations that have deficiencies may correct them within a reasonable timeframe and still garner one of the coveted certificates. 

Stations that have undergone an ABIP review very quickly realize the value of getting a third-party to search for any FCC regulatory deficiencies. 


It is less expensive if the TAB finds a problem and it is addressed, than if the FCC finds the problem during a routine, surprise inspection. 

FCC forfeitures typically start at the $4,000 level and rise steadily from there.

Additionally, stations have used TAB’s third-party inspection reports as justification for capital outlays in discussions with corporate management.

Helpful in TV License Renewals
Texas TV stations must submit their FCC license renewals by April 1, 2022.

Television stations can assess their FCC compliance and identify potential trouble areas to address in advance of their renewals by participating in TAB’s ABIP.

Of key interest in a TAB ABIP inspection is a review of a station’s online Public Inspection File which is a key part of the upcoming FCC TV license renewal.

Interested in getting a station inspection?

Learn more about what is involved in TAB’s ABIP station review and download the TAB ABIP contract here.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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