YOUR BIG VOICE IN DC FOR THE LPTV INDUSTRY! 
We only represent LPTV Licensees and its supporting industry partners

125 indie LPTV broadcasters & industry partners
with more than 885 stations and construction permits in 38 states!

May 8th, 2014 - News Flash

"Your efforts are greatly appreciated and without them 
I'd be lost in this debate about the future of LPTV"

LPTV INDUSTRY
DC LOBBYING UPDATES

It has been a busy week for the LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition so far here in DC related to research, advocacy, and lobby for the LTPV industry and the upcoming TV Spectrum Auctions.  From a survey we did last weekend we found that over 80% of the LPTV licensees and supporting industry contacts like you want these DC Updates as soon as they happen, so we are beginning to deliver the news as fast as we can each day. 


MAJOR COALITION VICTORY AS COMMISSIONER ROSENWORCEL ACTUALLY UTTERS THE WORD SHE HAS AVOIDED - "LPTV"
She tells her WiFi friends that LPTV needs protection...Has she finally read the Act?

Heck, we will take a victory where ever we can get one, and today this is a solid triple with the bases loaded. The real victory is the context in which she said LPTV.  "We also need to recognize that other services striving for white space in the 600 MHz band-like wireless microphones, low power television, and medical telemetry-matter."  NOW THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR LPTV!!! Up until now all that the Commissioner has said is that the unlicensed spectrum advocates (Google, Microsoft, Time Warner, Comcast, and many public interest groups) needed as much as 24-MHz of free spectrum. And that would be coming directly out of the remaining UHF TV channels after the auction, which LPTV will need in order to continue operations, some 800 LPTV channels! 
 
The Coalition, AND ONLY THE COALITION, has been calling her out about her backing of this unlicensed spectrum crowd at our expense, and her attempt to change the LPTV definition of secondary. (Yesterday while I was waiting to go into the FCC for a meeting, she pulled up in her chauffeured black government SUV, and I had a chance to personally thank her for favorably mentioning LPTV - priceless).
 
Our website has a lot of information about this if you have not seen it.  See her full transcript here.  And check out the WiFi Forward group which Google et al founded in part we are told, to counter our lobbying.  They are really upset they are not getting more of the LPTV spectrum for free.  And the Coalition took them on and as far as we can tell we have severely limited their impact on their LTPV spectrum grab.  We will find out next week when the Spectrum Auction Report and Order comes out on May 15th.  For a related item see next story...


"I open every email and newsletter you send.  By reading them I feel like I am in DC.  Glad you are doing it and not me.  Thanks!"


COALITION PROPOSES A $200 MILLION "MARKET-BASED MECHANISM" FOR THE LEASING OF THE SPECTRUM OF 800+ LPTV STATIONS BY GOOGLE, ET AL
We Email the FCC Chairman Requesting He Broker a Meeting to Discuss How LPTV and the Unlicensed Advocates Can Achieve Their Objective for Low-Band Spectrum

One of the biggest LPTV battles in the Spectrum Auction rule making has been our fight against the size of the "guard bands" which the legislation demands be only as large as is "technically reasonable" to prevent interference between TV channels and the new mobile broadband service.  The legislation allows for unlicensed device use in this band, and Google, Microsoft, Comcast, Time Warner, Apple, almost 100 companies, and many so-called "public interest groups" want the guard band to be as large as possible.  If they had their way over 1000 LPTV channels needed to displace into would be lost. But not now...as you can see from Commissioner Rosenworcel's comments above. (The Chairman said the same thing to his buddies here in DC a few weeks ago.)

Our Coalition has been the ONLY LPTV group to engage on this issue and we have been relentless in calling for a strict adherence to the legislation.  No other group, not NAB, not NTA, not NRB, and certainly not ATBA, none of them have engaged on this issue at all. While we have to wait until next week when the auction Report and Order comes out to see just how large the guard band will be, the Coalition has been told that our lobbying has paid off and the guard band will be far less than what was first tried to be pushed through. Yesterday the Coalition put the FCC Office of General Consul on notice that if the size of guard band can not be defended on technical grounds it will become an avenue of appeal. 

As part of this 10 month advocacy and lobbying effort, including taking on the biggest and most powerful of the technology companies and their DC public interest groups, we have been looking at how LPTV licensees could actually benefit from leasing spectrum to them rather than just defending itself.  The old best defense is a good offense.  Yesterday we submitted this proposal to the FCC Chairman that he should sponsor a summit between LPTV and Google et al to begin a discussion to see if a "market-based mechanism" could be used to lease as many as 800 LPTV stations, some 24-MHz in each TV DMA. Read the letter to the Chairman  

"Your use of the simple non-legal 'Right of Displacement' argument may be the single biggest factor in saving hundreds of LPTV channels nationwide."


LPTV INVESTMENT GROUP FILES LAST MINUTE RESEARCH SUPPORTING THE INCLUSION OF LPTV INTO THE AUCTION AND A DEMAND FOR A ROBUST ECONOMIC ANALYSIS BE DONE
Basing its demand on Coalition research and filings, FAB Telemedia provides the FCC Spectrum Auction Task Force with a detailed legal basis for LPTV auction eligibility.
 
Beginning a year ago the Coalition began to include in its FCC lobbying the demand for research into how LPTV could become auction eligible. While all other groups involved in LTPV lobbying said "just say no" to the auction, the Coalition picked up on a little known fact that it first highlighted in its early filings, and has pointed out ever since. The FCC itself, in the proposed Rule Making, has actually said that it has the authority to include LPTV in the auction, but had chosen not to because it had no practical value.  This is a key issue, not just for those of you licensees which would want to get in the auction, but that it speaks directly to the lack of a proper economic cost/benefit analysis about LPTV in or out of the auction.  This is all part of the lack of an impact analysis for LTPV in this auction process, which the Coalition has estimated will cost the industry a collective $1 billion in relocation costs due to channel displacements.
 
FAB Telemedia, a new LPTV investment group, took this research and made a deep legal dive into what could be a last minute game changing argument which the FCC can not just brush aside and has to comment on. FAB was one of the original filers in the initial Comment period, so it has standing to make this late stage argument.  They have figured out the potential legal framework for challenging why LPTV is not in the auction, and the legal basis for why an LPTV impact analysis needs to be robust and detailed.  The Coalition had already got the FCC to agree to a detailed impact analysis in the Report and Order, but the FAB Telemedia filing alerts them to the legal appeal basis for getting it done.  Read the FAB Telemedia filing

"I really appreciate your strong stand with the FCC.  We must not let them change our spectrum usage rights, and your tough talk and rapid reactions to what others file is just what LPTV needs."


ADVANCED TELEVISION BROADCASTING ALLIANCE (ATBA) FINALLY GIVES UP ITS "JUST SAY NO TO THE AUCTION" CAMPAIGN
Alliance of major full-power broadcasters, LPTV faith broadcasters, translator groups, and vendors files first comments in the auction rule making which acknowledges that the auction is happening and that they had better start trying to address the issues.
 
The secretive Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance (ATBA), which does not publicly disclose who their members are, is known to be financially backed by the largest publicly owned broadcast group, Sinclair Broadcasting. At one time they posted who their membership is, but have not done so in a while because they fear their members being contacted by other advocacy groups.  For more than a year now the ATBA has totally rejected the spectrum auction rule making process and has not engaged in it other than a filing of their diversity research. They also filed into the another proceeding calling for an extension of the analog to digital conversion dates for those stations still airing in analog. (and as many of you know the Coalition has been educating the FCC on this issue big time with over 10 filings on it).  
 
But this week, during the last few days groups can file into the auction rule making process, the ATBA came out swinging with a 5-page overview of issues and their positions.
Recently incorporated as a tax-exempt 501(c)6 not-for-profit, the "Alliance" does have a stellar Board of Directors of very experienced broadcasters and vendors.  They also have a new Executive Director from the full power station world with major tech chops. The Alliance is best known in the industry for the 2-hr. $25,000 party it hosts on the Monday night of NAB.  This year they had the CEO of NAB on video addressing the party, and got FCC Commission Clyburn for 3-minutes. You can see their NAB video here
 
The Alliance also has a big time LPTV broadcaster Gary Cocola (also a Coalition member) helping them assembly advisory boards on various relevant broadcast topics. ATBA has also joined NAB as an Associate Member with no voting rights. At NAB the Alliance shared that they had attempted to get legislation introduced in Congress about LPTV but had failed.  They have recently been lobbying in Congress with the National Translator Association, since many of their members are owned and controlled by full power broadcasters also. 
 
See the next story below for how the ATBA has joined with other major full power and broadcasting groups to look at how the auction will affect them.  The Coalition welcomes the ATBA into the auction rule making process, the more expert voices the better. Never did understand all of the "Just Say No" stuff...   Read the ATBA filing here

BROADCASTERS URGE PROTECTION OF LPTV
In a May 7 letter to the FCC, the NAB, the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, the National Religious Broadcasters and the National Translator Association "urge the commission to do everything in its power to ensure that the important benefits of LPTVs and TV translators are not undermined as a result of the incentive auction."
 
TVNewsCheck, 

"You are doing a great job representing our interests against much more powerful and well-funded groups which want our spectrum.  I can't thank you enough for stepping up and fighting for us! Sending you some more money today"


PREPARING YOURSELF FOR NEXT WEEKS SPECTRUM AUCTION REPORT AND ORDER
Next Thursday, May 15th, the FCC Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the Report and Order which approves many of the rules for the spectrum auction in 2015. The Coalition will be "in the room", but you need to prepare now...
 
Even if you are not planning on being in DC in your best dress suit and fancy tie to attend the FCC Commissioners May Open Meeting, fight the long lines of lawyers and lobbyists through the security check, and jockey for one of the few seats there are in the room, the Coalition will be there for you.  Of course you can always watch the entire event free on-line at the FCC Live webpage
 
Don't worry, be happy, we will send you all of the info and links before hand and our expert analysis afterwards.  But we strongly suggest you get yourself up to speed with a few reading assignments first:
And now for the membership and sales pitch.  Membership is free for all LPTV and TX licensees and all we ask is to list your call-signs and organization name on the website. Our biggest advantage is that operate in the sunshine, and we do have strength in numbers. Membership is only $100 for Class-A stations which are auction eligible, same for the full-powers, vendors, and industry partners.  But we do count on members chipping in for projects they want to support.  

We do original research, create and promote LPTV advocacy programs (like our NAB Show event), and of course we bang on the doors of the FCC and Congress.  It does take funding, but we want you to more than anything else get involved with your Congressional delegation at the local and state level.  We can help you do that very effectively.  We also can work with your legal counsel to help state your case at the FCC.  And we can help you with your financial counsel to value your current and future LPTV operations. 

For vendors we can offer what can be one of the best sponsorship deals around.


Sincerely,

Director
LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition
(202) 604-0747
lptvcoalition@gmail.com
http://www.lptvcoalition.com