Biennial Ownership Report Due March 2ndposted on 2.16.2018
TAB has received the question multiple times in the past few months – when is the Biennial Ownership Report due? The quick answer is the filing deadline is Friday, March 2.
And an important note for noncommercial stations – for the first time, noncommercial and commercial entities are required to file by the same date. The FCC delayed the original Dec. 1 filing deadline last fall because it introduced a new Ownership Report form in the new LMS electronic filing database.
Out with the old Form 323 and Form 323-E and in with new ones to use. “While this database provides more functionality than the FCC’s old CDBS, it does take some getting used to,” reports David Oxenford of Wilkinson Barker Knauer. The FCC has set up a page on the new Form 323 and 323-E which can be viewed here. It includes basic information about the new form, some helpful FAQs and FCC numbers to call for assistance.
The FCC even produced a webinar to acquaint broadcasters with the new form which can be viewed here. (Be advised that it takes a bit for the large file to load). So who needs to file the new Form 323 or 323-E? All licensees and entities holding an attributable interest in a licensee of one or more commercial or non-commercial AM, FM, TV, Class A television, and/or LPTV stations must file this report. The filing will reflect the ownership status of the license as of Oct.1, 2017.
TAB FCC counsel Scott Flick of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman notes that not only corporations and limited liability companies, but also sole proprietorships and partnerships composed entirely of natural persons (as opposed to a legal person, such as a corporation) are included in the licensees that must file reports. Flick also told TAB that all persons holding an attributable interest in a commercial licensee must have acquired either an FCC Registration Number (FRN) or Restricted Use FRN.
Broadcasters should not wait until the last minute to complete the report as there will likely be a crush of procrastinating stations trying to get the report filed. And one can’t always count on the system to be available to file. Broadcasters have reported glitches in recent weeks. This past weekend the FCC’s LMS electronic database was offline for maintenance to deal with them, which means there were three less days for broadcasters to get the job done before next week’s deadline.
Questions? Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.
« Back to Latest News