Like other broadcasters that wound up with digital stations in the VHF band, ABC says that the power originally granted by the FCC is insufficient to provide the same coverage as its New York O&O had in analog.
WABC New York wants some extra juice.
In a filing with the FCC today, ABC asked the agency for permission to increase the power of its flagship station on digital ch. 7 from 11.69 kW of effective radiated power to 27 kW.
ABC said that it needs the extra power to recover viewers lost when WABC turned off its analog signal on June 12 and viewers were forced to tune to the station’s digital channel.
“Viewers could not receive WABC’s DTV signal … and no longer had access to ABC network or locally produced programming … received prior to the transition,” the application says.
ABC acknowledged that it elected to broadcast on digital ch. 7 after June 12, its original analog channel assignment, rather than stick with its pre-transition digital ch. 45.
ABC said that the station with increased power would not interfere with any other existing station, but would interfere with noncommercial WNJB if it were also allowed to increase power as it has requested.
“Nevertheless, because WABC anticipates that it could serve virtually all of its former analog viewers on channel 7 … [with the increased power], grant of the instant application … is in the public interest,” the filing says.
ABC is among a growing number of digital stations in the VHF band asking the FCC for increased power or a channel in the UHF band after discovering after June 12 that their VHF digital channel was providing inadequate coverage.