Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition founder Preston Padden says the organization has accomplished its key goals and will dissolve on Wednesday, Sept. 30. He added that in addition to avoiding collusion, the coalition was disbanding because it had achieved key objectives for broadcast-friendly auction rules.
Responding to concerns of broadcasters who plan sell their spectrum in the incentive auction next year, the FCC said they may wait until after the auction before entering into channel-sharing arrangements so they stay in the broadcasting business. The action may encourage more stations to participate in the auction and help preserve “independent voices” in broadcasting, the FCC said.
In a meeting with FCC officials, NAB reps said the current 39-month deadline for moving channels during the post-auction repacking of the TV band was “unrealistic.” There are not enough resources to move the channels in that short of time, the NAB said. The EOBC opposed extension of the deadline, saying that more time could be granted on a case-by-case basis.
The coalition of broadcasters looking to sell their specturm in the FCC incentive auction told agency officials that key changes in how the agency conducts the auction will encourage more stations to participate and help the FCC achieve its goal of recovering 126 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband.
Representing a small group of spectrum speculators, Preston Padden is working to ensure that all station owners who want to sell their spectrum in the FCC incentive auction get the highest price possible. While I still believe it’s a mistake for strong, news-producing TV stations to sell their spectrum, there are plenty of broadcasters who should be thinking about taking the auction exit. And if they are thinking about it, they should also be thinking about joining Padden’s fight for a broadcast-friendly auction.
Preston Padden, head of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition, says one FCC proposal for the 2016 incentive auction could limit the prices broadcasters get for the spectrum of stations in smaller markets, thereby discouraging their participation. Another, he says, the use of “dynamic reserve pricing” during the auction, would be likely to result in lower prices for broadcasters than a more market-friendly auction approach advocated by the coalition.
In a petition to the FCC, the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition is asking the agency to reconsider the channel sharing plans it laid out in its Incentive Auction Report & Order. The Coalition says the rules limit broadcasters’ flexibility and could cause them to reconsider the channel sharing option.
The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition gathered outside the FCC in Washington today to promote the FCC’s inventive auction. Concerned that a growing watchdog-group-organized protest over an FCC net neutrality proposal had “sucked the oxygen out of the auction, we wanted to put the oxygen back,” said coalition leader Preston Padden (left).
Preston Padden, executive director, Expanding Opportunities For Broadcasters Coalition: “Our beloved broadcasting industry has had a rocky time with the past two permanent Chairs of the FCC, Kevin Martin and Julius Genachowski (for sure things went better with Interim Chair, Mignon Clyburn). Now our industry has a chance for a fresh start with a new Chairman, Tom Wheeler. It is important that we get off on the right foot.”
The head of a coalition of broadcasters buying stations with the intent to sell spectrum in the upcoming FCC auction says the alternative, adopting a new transmission standard and then leasing some of their spectrum, is “highly speculative” and requires too many variables to go right over the next few years.
A study by the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition and the Consumer Electronics Association, says that putting bidding restrictions on AT&T and Verizon could cost the FCC almost $6 billion in revenue from the upcoming spectrum incentive auction.
The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition says “the commission’s proposal to manage the prices paid to broadcasters by ‘scoring’ stations is driving broadcasters away from the auction. And, the … plan is inconsistent with the Spectrum Act, which provides for the prices to be received by broadcasters to be determined by the market forces of the auction….”
An anonymous group of broadcasters interested in selling their TV spectrum in the FCC’s incentive auction has founded the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition and has tapped former Fox and Disney lobbyist Preston Padden to lead its efforts before the FCC as the commission writes rules for the auction.