A federal court on Tuesday ruled against a challenge to part of the FCC’s ongoing process of reassigning TV spectrum to mobile providers and the resulting repack of the TV band. The Appeals Court in Washington denied a challenge from Mako Communications, an LPTV operator, to the FCC’s decision not to extend protections to its operations following the repack. The court said that the FCC’s decision not to offer the protections did not change the rights of LPTV broadcasters, since full-power stations already have priority when it comes to using wireless spectrum.
By buying time on station subchannels rather than splitting ad revenue with an affiliation deal, multicast networks remain in charge of selling inventory and the stations collect a monthly fee with a minimum of effort and outlay. However, the upcoming spectrum auction could make subchannel space to rent a scarcer commodity. This is part 3 of a three-part special report. Read parts 1 and 2 here.