SPECIAL EDITION
Friday, September 26, 2014
LPTV ISSUES ON FCC COMMISSIONER'S AGENDA
We just learned this morning that during the Commissioner's Open Meeting on October 17th, they will vote on:

 

Digital Low Power Television Third NPRM and Suspension Public Notice:

The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding measures to facilitate the final conversion of low power TV and TV translator stations to digital service, and mitigating the potential impact of the incentive auction and the repacking process. The Commission will also consider a concurrent Public Notice suspending expiration dates and construction deadlines for all outstanding unexpired construction permits for new digital low power television and TV translator stations.

 

COMMENTARY:  This is good news for LPTV no matter what the decision will be simply because it will give certainty for those who have invested into the 3500 outstanding construction permits, and not knowing what to do because of the auction process.   It will also give the industry time to legally respond to what it does not like about the Public Notice.  The FCC, by using the words "mitigate the potential impact", "suspending expiration dates and construction deadlines", opens up the door for much needed breathing room to develop business plans for both pre and post auction.  Don't forget folks, as it currently is known, only built facilities which are displaced from 51-38 or displaced by primary stations moving into 2-36 will get to apply for a new channel.  CP's will not.  But we will know more about this when the actual LPTV rule making comes out.

 

NOTE:  The LPTV Further Notice of Rule Making is in circulation with the Commissioners but not as of today voted on.

CHAIRMAN'S BLOG MENTIONS TV TRANSLATORS BUT IGNORES THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS ON URBAN LPTV
Go check out Chairman Wheeler's blog in which he gives a big shout out to the potential plight of rural TV translators but ignores the valuable contribution of our urban stations.  I gave a lengthy commentary to it on the site so that readers could better understand what is going on with LPTV.  The Chairman also blew it last week when he did not accurately quote the number of minority owned primary stations, never mind the diversity LPTV brings to the mix.  I personally have met with his senior staff about this but the guy just keeps messing it up.

OTHER NEWS WHICH YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT
>  Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance - The Alliance had a meeting with the Spectrum Auction Task Force and made compelling arguments for their members and the LPTV industry.  Check out their filing here, it is worth the quick read to see their concerns which we all share.

>  LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition - Last week the Coalition met with staff of the Commissioner's to discuss the potential impacts on LPTV from the auction, especially the displacement of all LPTV from channels 51-38.  
LPTV Displacement

WHEN SENSING DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!
Everyone wants our LPTV spectrum, and some will do anything at all to get it.  Did you know that some of the TV White Space advocates are now proposing what is called "sensing" as a way to see if you have your channel on?  What this means is that if your station is not on the air, say, if you are fixing it, or for anything else, that Google and Microsoft want to use your spectrum.  Under current TV White Space rules, they use a database administer which says to any device which wants to use spectrum:  "you can't use channel 26 because an LPTV station has licensed it for operations".  But with active technological "sensing", the Googleplex wants to use your spectrum whenever you are not.  This could be really bad for many of us, and the Coalition will  be fighting it big time.  The Googleplex submission
UPDATE ON CONGRESSIONAL GAO STUDY
The Coalition has been advocating to both the Senate and House Committees which oversee the FCC, and which gave us the Incentive Spectrum Auction, that they need to ask for a GAO study on the impacts to LPTV from the auction.  We can report that this process is moving forward and we soon hope to report that such an ask has happened.  More details when we know it.  
LUKEN NETWORKS EMERGES FROM THE DARK SIDE
The Coalition can report that the Luken networks are now clear of their bankruptcy action and seem to be stronger and better positioned to serve the LPTV industry.  We hope they also can soon offer both IP delivery of their networks, which they say is in the works.  That would help a lot of us with limited satellite dish space.  And we also encourage them to start to offer more barter deals in addition to their insertion carriage arrangements.  A lot of the major urban LPTV do not do ad insertion, and instead use a time brokerage or barter arrangement.  We think that by offering a barter deal Luken and other networks could vastly expand their affiliate bases.  Here is the press release from Luken
SINCLAIR FILES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE AUCTION
Major station group owner Sinclair Broadcasting has filed in the US Court of Appeals against the Incentive Spectrum Auction.  This could be a game changer and we are awaiting to see how this will all play out.  We have included here the front part of the filing, which also included the large 400+ page Report and Order from the FCC.  Sinclair filing
NEW NIELSEN RANKINGS COME OUT
Nielsen has come out with new DMA rankings and we thought it might be useful for you to see them.  Whenever these change some of us have a lot to do, but for most LPTV they do not.  However, the ethnic rankings are very important for many LPTV.  
SPECTRAL EFFICIENCIES
Veteran TV engineering reporter Phil Kurz, writing for TV News check, brings us an excellent article on how TV spectrum can be used in the near term future.  Check it out!
AUCTION RELOCATION FUNDING FORMS
Wouldn't it be nice to just fill out an FCC form and get paid to move your station to a new channel when the auction displaces you?  Well the primaries and eligible Class-A's now have new forms to comment on to the FCC.  Check them out and see what they will get paid for.  The Coalition will be doing this analysis for LPTV, which we estimate will average $150K per LPTV licensee, and could easily top $500 Million.  Auction Eligible Reimbursement Forms
JOIN THE COALITION
While our numbers have grown we are still looking for LPTV licensees who want to be part of our Coalition.  Join today, we need your voice!