Representing the spectrum usage rights of all 1800+ LPTV FCC licensed broadcasters and supporting industry partners with more than 10,000 built stations and new construction permits in all 50 states, DC, and territories.  Join us today to protect the future of LPTV!  More than 150 LPTV licensees and supporting industry partners already have.  We need your participation to continue to be effective. 

We can help!

Congress is in session until the end of July and then back in September for only short periods of time until the mid-term elections the beginning of November. 
August is going to be the best time to have personal contact with your members of the House and those Senators running for re-election. If you want the Coalition can help craft a special package of information about the impact of the spectrum auction on your station and the LPTV industry.
We recommend this local contact approach as it is the best alternative to having to raise a lot of campaign donations.  The more and better the House and Senate members know you and your station, the better it will be for the entire industry.


Membership in our Coalition is free for all LD, LP, and TX licensees.
We did charge a $100.00 annual fee for Class-A stations since many of them are auction eligible.  But heck, we found out a few weeks ago when the Incentive Spectrum Auction Report and Order came out that over 100 Class-A's will not be able to participate in the auction because of when they filed for their Class-A status.  Add to that the over 50 which have been demoted to LD/LP status, and we figured they needed a deal also. 

So for the time being, ALL LPTV licensees can join for free!

All we ask for in return from you are two things:

1)  We get to list your call-signs on our Members page (both built and construction permits), and,

2)  That you order at some point during the year one of our Auction Impact Studies, and/or Industry Advocacy Campaigns.

What you get in return is satisfaction that the LPTV industry has "boots on the ground in DC" and an experienced LPTV advocate who has "skin in the game".  Our Director, Mike Gravino, has for many years been part of LPTV as a channel developer, station manager, and investor.  And he is used to "speaking truth to power" at the FCC and in the halls of Congress.

What you also get are as they happen breaking news emails, weekly summaries like this email which take you through what is happening which affects LPTV, and cutting edge research before anyone else gets to benefit from it.

We also provide licensees and industry members with direct lobbying and representation at the FCC and in Congress.  But we work along side of your communications counsel and consulting engineers. Anyway we can help support your business here in DC we will.  And some members even have us helping them back in their own communities with innovative programming concepts, state legislative proposals, and viewer engagement projects.

The Coalition is not a formal trade association just yet.  It is a loose group of concerned LPTV licensees and supporting industry members who give to the Director their permission to thoughtfully and most importantly, rapidly react to the changes and challenges being brought against LPTV every day here in DC.  We listen to your concerns and we try to chart a course which can work for all.


Beginning in July we will be offering weekly webinars free to our members and for a small fee to non-members. These will be archived for later on-demand viewing also.  It is essential during the next phase of LPTV rule-making related to the spectrum auction that we all engage in the process.

For those of you not familiar with our website Resources page we urge to go to it and learn what you can about LPTV.  We will be launching an entire new website in July but will retain almost all of the content since we have heard from you all that it is a vital part of our services.

A new service we are just starting to offer is License, Station, and Construction Permit brokering. 
Many of you have asked us to do this for you, and so we decided to help. 
The new website will have a lot of information about this so stay tuned.

One area the Coalition has invested a lot of time, energy, and money into is our Big Data Project. With assistance from one of the big consulting engineering companies we have been taking the FCC CDBS system LPTV content and doing various slicing and dicing of the data to show unique new perspectives on our industry.  

In order to give the FCC a more accurate analysis of the LPTV community we are conducting a survey this summer to provide answers to key questions.  When you get the request to participate we urge you to take the few minutes it will take to answer the questions.  The FCC does not spend any money on researching and surveying LPTV oter then their yearly report, so it is up to us to get the data and help the FCC and Congress understand our industry.

We use this data in our presentations to the FCC and Congress.  Members have been supporting it whenever we need more funds to move it forward. And we will soon again need more fund as we build-out our new mapping service which will be available for our members.  We hope to have this all working by the fall in time to use it for the LPTV rule making presentations.

During the past year the Coalition has been quoted and featured dozens of times in the national trade press.  We are often asked for comments and to provide background and research for articles.  Our industry research has been used many times for FCC submissions and Congressional testimony, and our policy positions are now being quoted by others in their own reports.

We have pulled together a team of experts in LPTV from among the licensees, the networks, the manufacturers, and the professional service providers.  We consult on almost a daily basis with your colleagues across the country and always welcome your ideas, suggestions, and comments.

The incentive spectrum auction is still more than 18 months in the future, and the first LPTV displacement window is more than 24 months from now at the earliest. But the new rules LPTV will be operating under for the next 5 years will be written in the next 120 days.  So please join our Coalition and help shape the future of the LPTV industry and your own future business and investments. Join Today!
FCC staff opens the door to LPTV opportunity
During the first of last week's FCC LEARN session webinars about the Incentive Spectrum Auction, the Coalition asked a question about LPTV channel sharing post-auction.  We asked if a non-com station with must-carry status (PBS affiliate) could channel share on a paid leased channel basis with an LPTV station and still maintain their must-carry status.  The FCC staff (Media Bureau Chief William Lake, Task Force Chair Gary Epstein, and Vice Chair Howard Symons) agreed that it was possible.  There was a channel sharing rule making done back right after the auction legislation was passed, but it deferred the LPTV part until a later rule making, which is suppose to happen this summer and fall.  As has been the case recently, a question by the Coalition opens the door to an advanced early look into what the FCC is thinking of proposing. 

The trade press was quick to pick on this issue and last week the Coalition had four major press mentions about it.  When the LPTV channel sharing order is finally discussed we will be making sure that not just PBS and non-com's can utilize LPTV for paid carriage which maintains their must-carry status, but that any station and channels currently qualified can participate. This could be a huge new market for LPTV stations all over the country.  Just imagine that local PBS station paying for three of your channels in a multi-year contract!
Industry awaits pre-auction licensing deadline
During last week's Incentive Spectrum Auction webinars, the FCC released a new auction timeline which lays out in better detail than before, the targeted time frames for specific actions, rule makings, and deadlines.  Here are some LPTV specifics:

CLASS-A Stations
Q1-2015 - 90 day notice issued for qualified Class-A stations to have built their digital transmission plant completed in order to qualify. So still analog CA's have until about the beginning of Q2-2015 to build their digital facilities out.

Q3-2014 - FCC opens proceeding to examine how to mitigate the potential impact of the Incentive Auction and the repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations.

1H-2015 - FCC issues orders in the LPTV/TV Translator proceedings.  This means we will not know everything until Jan-Jun of 2015. Coalition wanted an end of calendar 2014 for this information to be known so that LPTV businesses could plan better for 2015. 

>  Any channel-sharing contracts must be completed prior to the auction starting.

>  In order to qualify for the LPTV repacking, stations must be built by a date to be determined before the auction starts


Mid-2015 - Auction starts and runs for X mo.'s

Late-2015 - About 6 months after auction ends, the stations which have filed construction permit applications for their new
facilities will have to complete their process. The Media Bureau will then announce a limited window for operating LPTV and TV translator stations to submit displacement applications.

2016++ - Construction permits not built before the auction will have a to-be-determined extension. This will include both the remaining Analog to Digital conversions and the unbuilt 2009 rural filing window CPs.
Coalition begins huge task of LPTV analyses

On June 2, 2014, the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, the International, Media, and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus, and the Incentive Auction Task Force ("Task Force") released a Public Notice summarizing a staff analysis designed to determine the potential for new aggregate interference to television stations under the Commission's adopted approach for preserving population served based upon pairwise interference limits.


For purposes of the analysis, the FCC staff performed 100 simulations (of each of the 210 TV DMAs) using three different approaches to creating simulated sets of station's to be repacked.  NAB asked for these to be released and they are now available.  The Coalition is conducting an analysis of this data and has until July 22 to submit comments into the record. There is no specific support for LPTV information, so the Coalition is fronting the costs of doing our own analysis.  If you want to help our efforts we would appreciate it, and will get you your own DMA analysis to see what could happen. Previous study supporters will get their new studies when we are done - thanks

FCC ignores 75% of LPTV licensees in data
Well folks, it is no surprise to us in the LPTV industry to see that we are the most diverse of all of the broadcasting services, but the data the FCC has released is very very flawed.  So much so that the Coalition is filing later this week a formal Data Quality complaint.  The FCC breaks out the Class-A stations from the rest of LPTV, they totally ignore the TV translators, and do not include data from over 32% of those LD's that they do study.  More on this later this week. Make sure to read the Glossary of Terms, as it is a little difficult to understand "Attributable ownership interest" vs "Positional Interest", who is which race, and what they do with answers they do not have categories for. 
The big take away is that this data has been and is being used to decide what, when, and how to deal with LPTV during the auction and repacking.  Garbage in - garbage out.... We are making a big effort to get this data updated, changed, and get the funding released to do it right!
Coalition's Senate Lobbying Reaps Rewards?
We reported last week about our lobbying related to STELA, the Satellite Television Reauthorization Act, in both of its House and Senate versions, as they work their way through Congress this summer.  It has to be passed by the end of the year, so there is a lot of action around it.  So far the broadcasters have fought back on the use of it for retransmission reform, but it still might be a vehicle for some sort of LPTV relief. We submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee about three key things which LPTV needed in the bill.  

What happened was that the "Durbin Amendment" was adopted by unanimous consent.  This is a technical amendment from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that permits cable companies to retransmit content, royalty free, from low-powered TV stations across a broader audience area. 
Congress in 2010 expanded the definition of a broadcaster's local service area to facilitate satellite companies that choose to retransmit low-powered TV station programming. Durbin said the amendment would enable both satellite and cable companies to transmit content from "the little guys in the broadcast world" to their subscribers.  Learn More
Coalition alerts Chairman to lack of LPTV data
Last week FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler posted a blog entry on his FCC page which promoted the Incentive Spectrum Auction webinars which were being conducted.  The Coalition used the comments section of the blog post to share with the Chairman just how bad the data is in the FCC Consolidated Database system.  Now to be somewhat fair here, many LPTV licensees have not kept up with entering their proper contact information.  

But the FCC seems to not do any quality control or follow-up on the contact info either.  So the situation is that the actual data used to contact licensees is totally out of date for about 75% of them.  The Coalition also sent an email to the Media Bureau about this and was obligated to post it within the auction rule making proceedings. Learn More
LPTV operators show of support does not work
By now you all have heard the the Aereo Supreme Court case was decided last week against them. This page has some good links to a wide variety of stories.  The LPTV community was part of this as a few of the larger LPTV operators filed comments in the process in support of Aereo. Would someone tell Barry Diller to call me, I know of about 3000 new construction permits he can build out for a lot less than what he spent on Aereo!  Learn More
Rural PBS stations get DTV transition funding
The USDA is accepting applications for Digital Transition Grants. - Rural public TV stations are eligible for grants to help ensure that broadcasts reach small rural communities. Up to $2 million will be made available to help stations transition from analog to digital, especially those with translators that extend signals to the most remote communities. Applications are due July 7.  Learn More
Got time to help the FCC work on this issue?
For all of you techies our there with some time on your hands, and want to help the FCC for free, well this might be just for you. Multi-stakeholder Organization to Develop Interference Limits Policies Recommended Charter FCC Technological Advisory Council Spectrum / Receiver Performance Working Group. And of course any new limits or expansion of interference levels could really help most any LPTV station.  I know I would love to have a higher power level!  Learn More
There are more than you might think available!
There certainly are a lot of networks now airing on LPTV digital channels across the country, and keeping track of them all would be a real hassle if it was not for  Check them out and see what you could be airing if you want!
Its' major sponsor, SBGI loses waiver request
The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance which says it has full power, LPTV, and industry partners (they do not disclose who their members are), may be in trouble according to insider members we have talked with.  Seems that when the Incentive Spectrum Auction Report and Order came out, one of the footnotes in it had to do with a denial of Sinclair Broadcasting's request to have a company-wide waiver for the deployment of flexible-use transmission systems.  The auction legislation only allows for this for those stations who do not enter the auction, are actually displaced, and do not accept channel relocation funding.  And this is exactly what the FCC authorized, just those stations which are displaced and do not take the funding. The Alliance is now restricting its' conference calls to just those who pay them a membership fee, so unless they publicly speak out about what is going on I guess we all will wait for their next public announcement.  
All LPTV licensees need to file timely reports!
With as many as 150 Class-A stations not being eligible for the auction, it is all the more important to file whatever reports the FCC wants in a timely and complete fashion. Broadcast station reminder: quarterly filings and requirements: issues/programs lists; children's programming; commercial limits; Class A TV eligibility  Learn More
Hitachi investment signals growth opportunity
Good news from Comark, an equipment manufacturer many of you have obtained equipment from.. Learn More
Good place for general FCC information
New visitors guide to radio and tv stations on the FCC site 
Channel Master Pitches Aereo Customers
I see a new infomerical making the rounds soon.  Channel Master offers discounted bundle that Includes antenna, HD-DVR And WiFi adapter. Learn More
Do we need all of our channels in one place?
WIRED Magazine has a very interesting article which we thought you would enjoy. How we watch TV has changed completely. Since the launch of Apple TV in 2006, companies have introduced a string of over-the-top (OTT) streaming Internet video devices such as Roku, Chromecast, PlayStation, Xbox, etc. The most recent offering-Amazon's Fire TV-was breathlessly reviewed as the potential 'holy grail' of set-top boxes. This is wrong. When we speak of the true 'holy grail' of content and entertainment, consumers want the 'Three W's': whatever content they want, whenever they want it, wherever they want it... 
Learn More
Extension of comment and reply deadlines
The deadlines for submission of comments and reply comments are extended to August 6, 2014, and September 8, 2014.  This helps us a lot to get quality data on the record. But we the help of all LPTV licensees to participate in our upcoming industry survey.  Stay tuned! 
Learn More
For those current Coalition members we really appreciate you working with us during this past year.  While we have not yet won the war to completely protect our spectrum usage rights, we have certainly had a positive impact on the process.  And we are now prepared to help craft our own rule making.  And for those of your who are new to this effort we welcome you to join and help the LPTV bring a huge collective voice to the policy debates which dictate and shape how we run our businesses.  If you have any comments or question please let us know and we will try to get them answered for you.


Mike Gravino

(202) 604-0747