47 CFR § 73.7003 - Point system selection procedures.

§ 73.7003 Point system selection procedures.

(a) If timely filed applications for reserved FM channels or reserved TV channels are determined to be mutually exclusive, applications will be processed and assessed points to determine the tentative selectee for the particular channels. The tentative selectee will be the applicant with the highest point total under the procedure set forth in this section, and will be awarded the requested permit if the Commission determines that an award will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.

(b) Based on information provided in each application, each applicant will be awarded a predetermined number of points under the criteria listed:

(1) Established local applicant. Three points for local applicants, as defined in § 73.7000, who have been local continuously for no fewer than the two years (24 months) immediately prior to the application filing.

(2) Local diversity of ownership. Two points for applicants with no attributable interests, as defined in § 73.7000, in any other broadcast station or authorized construction permit (comparing radio to radio and television to television) whose principal community (city grade) contour overlaps that of the proposed station. The principal community (city grade) contour is the 5 mV/m for AM stations, the 3.16 mV/m for FM stations calculated in accordance with § 73.313(c), and the contour identified in § 73.685(a) for TV. Radio applicants will count commercial and noncommercial AM, FM, and FM translator stations other than fill-in stations. Television applicants will count UHF, VHF, and Class A stations.

(3) State-wide network. Two points for an applicant that does not qualify for the credit for local diversity of ownership, if it is:

(i) An entity, public or private, with authority over a minimum of 50 accredited full-time elementary and/or secondary schools within a single state, encompassed by the combined primary service contours of the proposed station and its existing station(s), if the existing station(s) are regularly providing programming to the schools in furtherance of the school curriculum and the proposed station will increase the number of schools it will regularly serve; or

(ii) An accredited public or private institution of higher learning with a minimum of five full time campuses within a single state encompassed by the combined primary service contours of the proposed station and its existing station(s), if the existing station(s) are regularly providing programming to campuses in furtherance of their curriculum and the proposed station will increase the number of campuses it will regularly serve; or

(iii) An organization, public or private, with or without direct authority over schools, that will regularly provide programming for and in coordination with an entity described in paragraph (b)(3) (i) or (ii) of this section for use in the school curriculum.

(iv) No entity may claim both the diversity credit and the state-wide network credit in any particular application.

(4) Technical parameters. One point to the applicant covering the largest geographic area and population with its relevant contour (60 dBu for FM and Grade B for TV), provided that the applicant covers both a ten percent greater area and a ten percent greater population than the applicant with the next best technical proposal. The top applicant will receive two points instead of one point if its technical proposal covers both a 25 percent greater area and 25 percent greater population than the next best technical proposal.)

(c) If the best qualified (highest scoring) two or more applicants have the same point accumulation, the tentative selectee will be determined by a tie-breaker mechanism as follows:

(1) Tie breaker 1. Each applicant's number of attributable existing authorizations (licenses and construction permits, commercial and noncommercial) in the same service (radio or television) nationally, as of the time of application shall be compared, and the applicant with the fewest authorizations will be chosen as tentative selectee. Radio applicants will count commercial and noncommercial AM, FM, and FM translator stations other than fill-in stations. Television applicants will count UHF, VHF, and Class A stations.

(2) Tie breaker 2. If a tie remains after the tie breaker in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the tentative selectee will be the remaining applicant with the fewest pending new and major change applications in the same service at the time of filing.

(3) Tie breaker 3. If a tie remains after the tie breaker in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the tentative selectee will be the remaining applicant that can demonstrate that:

(i) It applied in a previous filing window, and had its application accepted for filing and processed, but subsequently dismissed in favor of an applicant with superior points or a tie-breaker showing;

(ii) It has been in continuous existence at all times from the date of that previous filing until the present; and

(iii) It does not hold any NCE construction permit or license.

(4) Voluntary time-sharing. If a tie remains after the tie breaker in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, each of the remaining tied, mutually exclusive applicants will be identified as a tentative selectee and must electronically submit, within 90-days from the release of the public notice or order announcing the remaining tie, any voluntary time-share agreement. Voluntary time-share agreements must be in writing, signed by each time-share proponent, and specify the proposed hours of operation of each time-share proponent.

(5) Mandatory time-sharing. If a tie among mutually exclusive applications is not resolved through voluntary time-sharing in accordance with paragraph (c)(4) of this section, the tied applications will be reviewed for acceptability. Applicants with tied, grantable applications will be eligible for equal, concurrent, non-renewable license terms.

(i) If a mutually exclusive group has three or fewer tied, grantable applications, the Commission will simultaneously grant these applications, assigning an equal number of hours per week to each applicant. The Commission will require each applicant subject to mandatory time-sharing to simultaneously and confidentially submit their preferred time slots to the Commission. If there are only two tied, grantable applications, the applicants must select between the following 12-hour time slots: 3 a.m.-2:59 p.m., or 3 p.m.-2:59 a.m. If there are three tied, grantable applications, each applicant must rank their preference for the following 8-hour time slots: 2 a.m.-9:59 a.m., 10 a.m.-5:59 p.m., and 6 p.m.-1:59 a.m. The Commission will require the applicants to certify that they did not collude with any other applicants in the selection of time slots. The Commission will give preference to the applicant that has been local, as defined in § 73.7000, for the longest uninterrupted period of time. In the event an applicant neglects to designate its preferred time slots, staff will select a time slot for that applicant.

(ii) Groups of more than three tied, grantable applications will not be eligible for licensing under this section. Where such groups exist, the Commission will dismiss all but the applications of the three applicants that have been local, as defined in § 73.7000, for the longest uninterrupted periods of time. The Commission will then process the remaining applications as set forth in paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section.

(d) Settlements. At any time during this process, the applicants may advise the Commission that they are negotiating or have reached settlement, and the Commission will withhold further comparative processing for a reasonable period upon such notification. Settlement may include an agreement to share time on the channel voluntarily or other arrangement in compliance with Commission rules. Parties to a settlement shall comply with § 73.3525, limiting any monetary payment to the applicant's reasonable and prudent expenses.

(e) For applications filed after April 21, 2000, an applicant's maximum qualifications are established at the time of application and will be reduced for any post-application changes that negatively affect any evaluation criterion.

(f) For applications filed on or before April 21, 2000, an applicant's maximum qualifications are established as of the relevant date listed in paragraph (f)(1), (2), or (3) of this section. After the relevant date for determining an applicant's maximum points, points will be reduced for any changes that negatively affect any evaluation criterion. Applicants will establish their qualifications according to the following:

(1) If the applicant is in a group for which a “B” cut-off notice issued prior to April 21, 2000 its maximum non-technical qualifications are established as of the date by which applicants must supplement their applications to supply point information, and its maximum technical qualifications are established as of the date of the “B” cut-off notice;

(2) If the applicant is in a group for which an “A” cut-off notice issued prior to April 21, 2000 but for which no “B” cut-off notice issued, its maximum non-technical qualifications are established as of the date by which applicants must supplement their applications to supply point information, and its maximum technical qualifications are established as of April 21, 2000;

(3) If the applicant was neither placed on an “A” cut-off list prior to April 21, 2000 nor filed in response to such an “A” cut-off list, it is subject to competition from applications filed within the first filing window, and its maximum technical and non-technical qualifications will be determined as of the close of the first filing window.

[65 FR 36380, June 8, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 15356, Mar. 19, 2001; 85 FR 7891, Feb. 12, 2020]

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