To meet its original goal of recovering 120 MHz of TV spectrum in its incentive auction, the FCC will have to buy around half of the UHF stations in 37 markets, including four of the top 10 — New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
The number crunchers at the NAB have come up with 37 TV markets where roughly half the UHF stations would have to sell their spectrum if the FCC is to meet its original goal of recovering 120 MHz of TV spectrum across the country.
As part of its incentive auction plan, scheduled for early next year, the FCC would buy spectrum from broadcasters in a reverse auction and then turn around and sell it to broadband wireless providers in a conventional forward auction.
The 37 markets include four of the top 10 markets — New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco — as well as some of the smallest: Victoria, Texas; Meridian, Miss.; and Charlottesville, Va.
In New York, to recover 120 MHz, the FCC would have to buy between 10 and 16 of the market’s 24 UHF outlets. In Los Angeles, it would have to buy between 17 and 20 of the 29 stations. In Philadelphia, between 13 and 16 of 23 and, in San Francisco, between nine and 15 of 23.
On the other end of the spectrum, so to speak, the FCC would have to buy the lone UHF station in Victoria, the only two UHF stations in Meridian and at least one of the four UHF stations in Charlottesville.
The NAB based its numbers on repacking simulations conducted by the FCC last June. Following the incentive auction, the FCC plans to reorganize, or repack, the TV band so that the spectrum used by the remaining TV stations is segregated from the spectrum sold to wireless carriers.
The NAB analysis also found 52 markets where the FCC would not have to acquire any stations and 53 where the agency would have to acquire no more than one.
For a complete look at the study, click here.