Public broadcasters can still explore channel-sharing options, take advantage of equipment upgrades and plan an investment fund that would help the entire system.
Leaders of Virginia’s Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp. told community members at a town hall Thursday that they plan to invest the station’s $182 million in spectrum auction winnings in expanded community service and a foundation to promote public media.
LPTV proponent Free Access & Broadcast Telemedia asks a federal appeals court to make the commission delay the incentive auction until cases objecting to the exclusion of LPTVs in the process can be resolved.
The LPTV operator responds to the FCC’s filing to exclude it from the incentive auction, saying that the option Latina suggests, allowing it to participate in the auction on a provisional basis pending a final decision, is preferable to delaying the start of the auction, now scheduled for March 29
The financially strapped City Colleges of Chicago, licensee of PBS member station WYCC, has decided to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction.
The FCC releases samples of file formats to be provided to reverse auction participants during the auction. The trouble is that the materials the FCC has posted may be a bit difficult for the uninitiated to comprehend, at least in the abstract. Because of that, anyone planning to participate in the reverse auction should probably start now to get familiar with the data that will be available once the fun begins.
Monday, the FCC posted to the Auction 1001 website the Reverse Auction Initial Commitment User Guide and Online Tutorial. Broadcasters that submitted an FCC Form 177 to participate in the Reverse Auction should review these materials to gain a better understanding of how the system will work so that they are prepared to participate when the Initial Commitment Window opens.
The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice dealing with the upcoming March 29 commitment deadline for TV broadcasters who filed their applications back in January indicating a possible intent to participate in the incentive auction to surrender their TV channel. the FCC will be making available its “Initial Commitment Module” of the Incentive Auction software system at 10 a.m. on March 24 during a “preview period” for review by TV broadcasters.
The Wall Street Journal reports that local PBS stations could pull in hundreds of millions of dollars this year by selling their airwaves to the federal government in the FCC’s upcoming spectrum auction. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.
The commission turns down LPTV broadcaster Latina Broadcasters of Daytona Beach’s request to put its upcoming spectrum auction on hold while Latina’s request to take part in it is considered.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly on Tuesday told broadcasters they will likely have to wait until after the FCC’s spectrum auction to see changes to the agency’s spectrum re-allocation process.
Publicly, the commission appears determined to proceed full speed ahead with its incentive auction of TV spectrum, but it is also daring some LPTV operators who are in danger of being left out of the auction to ask a federal court for a stay of the auction.
A recently completed computer simulation commissioned by Public Media Company from CRA International Inc. predicts that television spectrum held by public TV stations could be valued at as much as $6.8 billion in the FCC auction taking place this year.
Maxwell C. Agha and his wife, Michelle Diaz Agha, have pumped $15 million into their small San Diego TV station over the last two decades so they could broadcast Spanish-language news, Catholic shows and local programming. But KSDY and many other small, low-power TV stations, which often broadcast foreign-language and religious programming, soon could be silenced — knocked off the air involuntarily by the federal government with no compensation to their owners or alternatives for their often low-income viewers.
In March, the FCC will begin its broadcast incentive auction. The auction provides an opening to take advantage of four disruptive changes that together comprise a perfect storm for broadcast television: targeted advertising, stringer news collection, indie entertainment production and migration of workflow infrastructures to the Internet Protocol standard. An Internet-only TV station embracing all four could become a model for vigorous television through the remainder of the century.
NAB CEO Gordon Smith says the FCC’s to-do list for this year should be topped with: successfully handling the spectrum auction and repack; encouraging innovation and diversity; and resisting the pay TV industry’s attempt to “further pad its wallets through unnecessary government intervention in retransmission consent negotiations.”
This year’s auction of broadcast spectrum could deprive viewers of access to public TV, a matter that concerns PBS President Paula Kerger. Kerger said that FCC rules preclude her from discussing individual stations. But she noted the threat of some stations going dark if their licensees choose to auction off their spectrum. “To be candid, I am concerned, as this moves forward, to make sure that the entire country is covered and able to receive television over the air,” she said.
A federal auction of TV airwaves that are crucial to help U.S. wireless carriers improve coverage may yield a lot less than anticipated. Blame the price wars and slow growth that have left some potential bidders cash-constrained. Bids will total just $33 billion, according to an average of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s well below the $45 billion the FCC may expect and the $84.9 billion estimated by one broadcasting industry group.
The New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, licensee of statewide public television network NJTV, announced this week that it has filed to participate in the FCC’s spectrum auction. However, John Blair, authority executive director, said that it “has no intention of exiting public television because we provide a valuable service for New Jersey TV viewers.”
Following this year’s FCC spectrum auction and repack, TV broadcasters will find themselves facing technical challenges involving satellite newsgathering, wireless mics and the Broadcast Auxiliary Service.
The possibility of a sale, which could put WHUT Washington, the nation’s only black-owned public television station, off the air, has caused concern among students, faculty and alumni.
The House Energy and Commerce communications subcommittee may be making a push on telecom issues, but don’t expect to see Rep. Frank Pallone’s new telecom bill on the agenda anytime soon. Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden told Politico’s Morning Tech newsletter that he’s not on board with Pallone’s new bill that would give the FCC a $1 billion emergency fund to help broadcasters stay on the air after this year’s incentive auction. He cited timing concerns.
For the past several months, for my own curiosity and on behalf of a dozen clients, I’ve been interested in what sort of “Racing Form” the FCC may have given us that could be helpful in the reverse auction. In fact, I believe it has given us one, and this essay is meant to be a sort of guide to how to interpret this information. Learn whether your station or others in your market could be “winners.”
Television stations face a Tuesday deadline to apply to participate and FCC officials have been aggressive in trying to shore up broadcaster confidence in the auction’s never-before-tried model to reallocate their spectrum to the wireless industry.
Every city will soon see a transfer of airwave spectrum from broadcast TV to wireless Internet providers, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said today at the CES consumer electronics confab — 84 days before a long awaited auction takes place. “You’ll see a spectrum extravaganza,” Wheeler said of the plan. “That is going to be transformational.” He calls the broadcast airwaves “beachfront spectrum” due to its ability to reach big audiences, and penetrate walls. “This is opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.”
In addressing LPTV/translator future, the FCC declines to loosen several regulatory leashes. Whether – and if so, how many – LPTV/translators will benefit from the newly adopted measures is unclear.
In the Flint, Mich., market, the Delta College board of trustees says it’s doing its due diligence by deciding to initially participate in a national spectrum auction that’s going to dramatically change the landscape of the broadcasting industry and potentially see the community college’s public television station WDCQ go off the air in exchange for millions of dollars.
The commission’s new Third Channel Sharing Report & Order allows channel sharing among LPTV and TV translator stations; extends the deadline for digital transition; and will offer assistance in finding new channels for displaced translator stations.
Learn how the auction will work and what it means for public TV stations and viewers.
Next year’s spectrum auction will see the FCC selling bandwidth it will have simply usurped from entrepreneurs, local communities and even churches that use it to provide free over-the-air local low-low power TV without any form of compensation. Moreover, it will be grabbing spectrum in a way that violates the FCC’s longstanding mission as well as the Fifth Amendment.
Among the items broadcasters should be checking off their spectrum auction to-do lists: You have until 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 12, 2016, to complete the Form 177 application. Just as importantly, broadcasters have until the application deadline to complete any business discussions with other broadcasters before the “quiet period” kicks in. If you have not done so already, you should begin collecting the information needed to complete Form 177. And there’s more.
With the auction now underway and billions of dollars for TV station owners at stake, here’s a look who stands to gain the most from its outcome. And who stands to be hurt.
What issues are likely to keep engineers, managers and other tech types awake at night in 2016? TVNewsCheck’s Phil Kurz offers his predictions of next year’s trends that range from ATSC 3.0 to a serious rethink of how to define the business of television.
On the FCC’s blog, Gary Epstein, chair, and Howard Symons, vice chair of the commission’s Incentive Auction Task Force, spell out the steps that lie ahead in preparing for next year’s spectrum incentive auction.
Making things official, the FCC has announced that the Office of Management and Budget formally approved FCC Form 177 on Nov. 19. And with the publication of that announcement in the Federal Register, the form is now “effective”. Form 177, of course, is the form that TV owners planning on participating in the reverse auction will have to file by Jan. 12, 2016.
The FCC issued a Public Notice to clarify that, under certain conditions, it will distribute the proceeds from next year’s spectrum auction to a third party, such as a qualified intermediary or an escrow account. This clarification may help broadcasters obtain more favorable tax treatment for their reverse auction proceeds in certain circumstances.
Here are three scenarios for how the FCC’s game-changing TV spectrum auction could play out in one market, San Antonio, Texas: Its impact on viewership, ad spending, ad rates and cord-cutting.
The FCC has released two additional items to guide broadcasters through the process of applying to participate in the reverse auction.
Since broadcasters won’t know how much cash other stations in their market are willing to accept, it is even more important to be knowledgeable about the factors that will affect a station’s ultimate net gain before deciding to participate. Here are some tips about understanding the auction’s financial implications.