NAB: FCC Needs Half Of UHF Chs. In 37 DMAs

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.

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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.

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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.


Comments (13) -

HopeUMakeit Nickname posted over 3 years ago
with digital broadcasting, the fcc needs to sell the VHF band and move all the broadcasters to UHF so theire sorry digital signals can cover their DMAs for a change..
Anthony Belle posted over 3 years ago
Yes I agree. VHF has it's problems.
Insider Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Not according to Flashflood
FlashFlood Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Insider, you didn't pay attention to what I said, so I'll say my points one more time. (1) There are two stations in the Philadelphia market that do not believe that broadcasting on Lo Band VHF is a problem to their OTA viewers: WACP (PSIP 4, DC 4) a Independent station in Atlantic City, NJ, and WCAU (PSIP 6, DC 6) the ABC O&O in Philadelphia, PA. (2) I watch my stations on cable because there are 2 stations in my market on the major networks that I cannot get OTA. They are WESH (PSIP 2, DC 11) the NBC Affiliate licensed to Daytona Beach, FL, studios in Maitland, FL, transmitter in Bithlo, FL, and WKMG (PSIP 6, DC 26, yes, a UHF I cannot receive OTA) the CBS Affiliate licensed to Orlando, FL, studios in Orlando, FL, transmitter in Bithlo, FL. I have problems OTA with both VHF and UHF, so I subscribe to Bright House Networks to get my stations.
FlashFlood Nickname posted over 3 years ago
That's a far better idea, HopeUMakeIt. The FCC can junk the problematic VHF band, sell that spectrum to these wireless carriers, move the VHF stations to the UHF Band, and everyone will be happy!
Insider Nickname posted over 3 years ago
And again. WPVI in Philadelphia DOES BELIEVE it has a problem on VHF-Low. In fact it knows it has an issue, despite what you posted above and a week ago. WPVI is owned by ABC-Disney and is on Channel 6. WCAU is owned by CBS and is the NBC affiliate, not the ABC affiliate and is on Channel 34, not a VHF channel. WACP is on VHF-Low because that was the only way they could get the license as the FCC only allocated a VHF-Low for NJ and Delaware, because of an outdated law the FCC had on their books attempting to give a VHF license to NJ. It is why WOR-TV years ago moved from NYC to NJ, so RKO could try and keep the stations longer. Again, neither would want to be on VHF-Low as they both know the issues, but with MVPD penetration close to 90%, it was their only option if they wanted to hold the license. So, both stations in Philadelphia market know that broadcast on VHF-Low is problematic, but they have no choice, despite what you posted last week (and incorrectly above).
HansDampf Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Not really, This would not be acceptable to wireless carriers as the equipment limitation and technical problems will be a lot larger. The FCC would not even see 1/4 of the possible earnings from the spectrum auctions than it would see in the upper UHF bands... there are physical limitations on how low you can go being a wireless carrier and still have a product that customers want.
Roger O. Thornhill Nickname posted over 3 years ago
What I find somewhat amusing about the huge payouts promised in the Greenhill Report is the tax disclaimer mumbo-jumbo at the end. Since these are lump-sum payments, a lot of this money will come back to the government as capital gains taxes. So I guess the FCC can afford to be generous since a nice chunk of the money will be coming back to the Feds anyway. However, Verizon just announced that they are, for the most part, satiated with spectrum so we'll see how much the FCC actually gets in this next auction which is now predicted to occur near the end of 2016. The success of the AWS-3 auction may have been a fluke and not a predictor of what the incentive auction will haul in.
Insider Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Keep day you will get it right. Yesterday Verizon's Melone did not rule out wanting to buy the 2.5GHz Spectrum from Sprint. He also stated Verizon would be interested in leasing AWS-3 Spectrum from Dish. So much for Verizon having all the Spectrum they want or need. In fact, he DID NOT STATE Verizon was "satiated with spectrum". HE DID STATE "Verizon's overriding objective for the AWS-3 auction was to acquire enough spectrum to give the company a minimum of 40 MHz of AWS spectrum in "most markets." Obviously, 40 MHz of Spectrum is not enough.
Snap Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Buying spectrum you don't need or really want is one way to combat cord cutting.
EricPost Nickname posted over 3 years ago
I know I'll get flack for this, but TV spectrum is not being used well. First of all get rid of High Def. If you want it, buy cable. TV stations should be ONE channel. This is what they were given, not six, and not high def. This would easily reduce the number of stations. Scrap the current technology, yes it sucks to buy things over again, but it doesn't work. It's like if my boss told me to buy an pick up truck and I came back with a Prius. Yes you could use the Prius to haul trash, but in the end you have to bite the bullet and buy a pick up truck. Americans don't want quality, they have shown this time and time again. Abandoning land lines for cell phones or CDs for mp3s, all which are less quality. The mere fact that so many duopolies exist means that there are too many stations. If each station can't make a go of it by itself, let it fold. This happened all the time in the 50s and 60s.
Insider Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Actually this is the root of it Eric. Anyone in the know who was at the NAB Conventions over 10 years ago knows the FCC felt they were hoodwinked by Broadcasters with everything they would be able to do in the ATSC Conversion with 6 MHz. So behind the faces of the FCC Commissioners, the long term FCC staffers know this very well and are essentially correcting what they see as the inequalities given Broadcasters over 10 years ago, imo.
HansDampf Nickname posted over 3 years ago
Eric said: Abandoning land lines for cell phones or CDs for mp3s, all which are less quality. That is about as sweeping a statement as if one would say all Americans are dumb. Not in every instance is what you proclaim of lesser many instances it actually is the opposite. It all depends on what circumstances are at the point of usage... Just as there are many dumb Americans and many very smart size doesn't fit all. In addition, me thinks you protest too much? Do you work for the cable company perhaps and being a bit envy about the competition and that people cut the cord and watch the content OTA.... feeling the loss of revenue perhaps?
Marketshare Blog Playout Blog




Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 19, 2017
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