Broadcaster Repack Accounting & Consulting

Summit Ridge Group is a leading provider of accounting and related consulting services for broadcasters seeking reimbursement for costs associated with the mandatory repack of U.S. television stations following the Broadcast Incentive Auction through the FCC’s reimbursement processes. Previously, Summit Ridge Group provided reasonableness opinions related to the costs of clearing the AWS spectrum.

We have deep expertise in the incentive auction process, having advised investors and broadcasters as well as having written¬†law review articles about the auction. We’ve leveraged our auction expertise into the broadcast reimbursement process and currently support over 130 full-power and Class A stations, 70 low-power stations, and 15 FM stations through the 399 processes. Our dedicated team provides a wide range of accounting-related services to broadcasters seeking assistance in the process. As some of our clients have been at the forefront of the reimbursement process, we are highly aware of the nuances of the FCC process and changes as they occur. As part of our repack accounting service, we:

  • Work with broadcasters to verify that all vendor proposals, purchase orders, and invoices conform to the detailed FCC requirements before submission. If they are deficient, we work with the client or vendor to provide the necessary information in the appropriate format
  • Prepare Form 399 by uploading the compliant invoices to the FCC through LMS (the client or their law firm provides final certification). We maintain a detailed tracking system to monitor the progress of invoices through the FCC process. Clients can also use our tracking system for planning the working capital impact of the process
  • Work with clients to develop a narrative explanation to anticipate questions from the FCC for invoices where there may be questions regarding the nature of the invoice or questions about the amounts
  • Revise “cost estimates” on Form 399 as many time as necessary during the reimbursement period to accurately reflect our clients’ plan and incurred expenses
  • Prepare materials to account for situations where a client intends to “upgrade” a station’s facilities so that they can collect partial reimbursement related to the estimated ungraded repacking costs including facility maximization costs as appropriate
  • Work with the FCC to clarify or resolve submissions the FCC disputes to the best advantage of our client, as appropriate. Our established working relationships with the FCC and its consultants allows us quickly understand FCC requirements and resolve unusually situations in a timely manner
  • Track FCC reimbursements through the FCC’s CORES system and client’s bank accounts to match against invoice submissions and follow-up with FCC as appropriate
  • Update the FCC documentation on file to reflect changes in the build process as needed
  • Hold weekly conference calls with our¬†clients to keep them updated with the reimbursement status of their stations, updates from the FCC and industry trends related to the repack process as we become aware of them

Due to our experience working with many stations, we believe we are particularly well-positioned to handle complex repacking situations, including those that arise from changes in business plans, equipment upgrades, and change of ownership.