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. 

JULY 15, 2014 - LPTV INDUSTRY EDITION


CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL
DELEGATION
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.



JOIN OUR COALITION!

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.

WE HAVE ONE RULE WE ALWAYS FOLLOW NO MATTER WHAT!
WE OPERATE TOTALLY IN THE
SUNSHINE SO EVERYONE CAN SEE WHAT WE ARE DOING!




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.






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!


PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER EDITIONS SO THAT YOU KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING!



ARE YOU AN ORPHANED CLASS-A WHICH IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE AUCTION? 


HAVE YOU BEEN DENIED LEASED ACCESS CABLE CARRIAGE? 


AND DON'T FORGET TO VISIT THE TuffTV CROWDFUNDING SITE!
CROWDFUNDING TuffTV $$$
Programming network with nationwide LPTV affiliate base uses new fundraising technique
TuffTV, which is distributed by Luken Networks, and which many of you carry on your stations, has started which may be the first crowdfunding campaign for a broadcast network. They are using a Georgia-based company called SparkMarket to raise capital.  While there are a lot of investor restrictions involved in these new capital raising projects, they are also using  various "Rewards Categories" which are easy for most anyone to participate in, similar to Kickstarter.  The Coalition will be tracking this first-of-a-kind project and are buying one of Rewards ourselves!
THE MISSION TO KILL BROADCAST TELEVISION STATIONS
Analyzing Pay-TV's Bid to Control the Video Marketplace - Does LPTV Have A Future?
In the second part of our series on the future of LPTV we want to share with you again a White Paper which from Fred Campbell. He is the former head of the FCC Wireless Bureau, and up until recently was the Director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and now has his own policy shop, CBIT, Center for Boundless Innovative in Technology.  He has been writing on how to create a free market TV industry, and has recently been submitting into various FCC proceedings.  This paper goes into how various market forces and government policies are all dead-set against broadcast television be a viable medium in the future.  How this relates to LPTV?, Well we soon will bring you that, so stay tuned, and READ THIS PAPER!!
FCC'S REVOLVING DOOR 
Top FCC auction related staff continue to bolt for the private sector and take with them valuable knowledge and connections

While the practice is not new for FCC staff taking jobs in the private sector with those industries and companies they were just regulating the week before, it is starting to become a trend. This quote is from TV Technology...

 

"The National Association of Broadcasters announced that Robert Weller, the Federal Communications Commission's chief of Technical Analysis, will join NAB as vice president of Spectrum Policy on July 28, 2014. He will report to Rick Kaplan, executive vice president of Strategic Planning.

Since 2008, Weller has led the FCC's group tasked with rulemaking and analysis of spectrum policy areas, including radio propagation, interference, RF safety, frequency allotments and new technologies. He has also served as the technical lead on broadcast coverage and interference issues during the commission's broadcast spectrum incentive auction proceeding."

 

Now this gets even more strange in that Kaplan himself used to run the FCC Wireless Bureau and came over to NAB also.  Also at the end of last year key FCC Spectrum Auction staffer Rebecca Hansen took the top DC policy job with Sinclair Broadcasting.

 

So we ask, when will the LPTV industry hire someone like these key former FCC insiders?  But let us not forget that our own rabbitears guy is now inside the FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology.

 

I guess the big takeaway from the Weller hiring is that NAB is finally taking spectrum seriously, and that may just help us all. Although to be frank, NAB has yet to push for anything at all which supports all of LPTV instead of just their own translators. Hey NAB, want to help LPTV with must-carry, retrans, increased power?  Don't forget, over 100 LPTV stations are major network affiliates and are totally unprotected in the auction!

NAB Nabs Another Key FCC Senior Staffer

ALLIANCE COMES OUT
Breaking a long silence ATBA files comments regarding inter-service interference issues. And then has their petition for a blanket waiver begin its' comment period.
That secretive broadcast group, the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance, which does not release who its' members are (although they say it has full powers, LPTV, and industry partners), broke a long silence in the FCC Spectrum Auction proceedings and filed a technical brief describing issues which could affect LPTV by interference from LTE and wireless services.  Similar in great part to the NAB filing the same day (no wonder, ATBA is a non-voting member of NAB and agrees with most everything NAB says or does), they do make some key points about how LPTV could be affected in a post-auction operating environment.

And when it rains it pours, so the FCC the same day begins to seek comments about the ATBA Petition for a Blanket Waiver for LPTV Construction Permits which was submitted back this past winter.  The Coalition has commented on this Petition publicly before saying that ATBA made both a strategic timing mistake when they made the Petition, and in the details of what they asked for.  Timing wise, the Coalition had already been in talks with the FCC to delay the Sept. 2015 sunset date for analog to digital conversions. And by asking for all LPTV CPs to end on that date, ATBA effectively asked for LPTV to have to build out their facilities right in the middle of the spectrum auction process!  So you can easily see that by acting alone in secret and not sharing with the rest of the LPTV industry what they are doing, ATBA has now created a minor problem.  The Comments and Reply Comments period for their Petition will conclude at the end of August, next month.  And then, and only then, will the much anticipated and awaited LPTV Further Notice of Rule Making start. What this has done is to push until Q1-2015 the final LPTV rule making and any hope of a clean 2015 business planning cycle for LPTV is now gone.  

On the issue of a "blanket waiver for all LPTV CPs", this is a huge issue which will be discussed in much detail as it relates to all other LPTV issues within the LPTV rule making this fall. So thanks ATBA, keep working in secret, we just love not knowing what you are up to!

And please let your buddies over at NAB know that LPTV wants the same government mandated benefits the full powers have.  If you are going to say you represent LPTV but support NAB, well, ya gotta make a choice!  Since you paid $1000 of LPTV licensee funds to join NAB, they have only tried to get a priority in the repack for NAB translators, have continued to keep LPTV out of the auction, and will not help LPTV get must carry or retrans negotiations.
FCC MERGER REVIEW TEAMS 
LPTV begins to make the cases against the Time Warner/Comcast, and ATT/DirectTV mergers
There are still some public servants left at the FCC who have not yet gone over the the dark side (or is the FCC the dark side?).  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced members of an inter-bureau steering committee and the working team leaders established to coordinate the agency's review of merger applications from Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter and AT&T-DirecTV. The Coalition already has members coming into DC and meetings set up to start the process of letting these folks know how LPTV has been and could be affected by these mergers.  If you have anything to add to this or want to be involved drop us an email or call. 
FCCINFO.COM
Broadcast engineering website provides free access to FCC technical database content
Cavell Mertz Associates, of Manassas, Virginia, a suburban community outside of DC, has provided the broadcast community for a while now with an excellent free resource, www.fccinfo.com. . If you never been to this site we highly recommend it as it is very well laid out and gets you to the information you are seeking quickly. The Coalition has been utilizing it for a lot of research, and the good folks there have been helping us with our CDBS downloads this year.  If you have the need for broadcast engineering services, and who won't during this spectrum auction and channel repacking filled next few years, let Cavell Mertz help you with your filing requirements.  
PENTAGON CHANNEL BECOMES DOD NEWS
The merging of three defense news operations into a tighter focus on the entire DoD community here and abroad

The Defense Department has consolidated three media outlets into one new organization: DoD News.

Formed on July 8, DoD News consists of the Pentagon Channel, American Forces News Service and Defense Department Social Media.

 

While the merger is meant to harness the three organization's strengths to improve news quality, it comes after cuts to the Defense Media Activity, the parent organization for all three entities.

 

The Pentagon Channel was forced to scale back production in 2012 after 22 employees were laid off. Since then, it has served as mostly as a sort of C-SPAN for Defense Department news briefings and military-related congressional hearings.   LEARN MORE

CHINESE CLOSE LARCAN
Canadian transmitter manufacturer ceased operations July 10.  What next?
TV Technology has learned that LARCAN, a Canadian television and radio transmitter manufacturer that has been in operation since the early 1950s, ceased operating on July 10, several sources familiar with the situation confirmed. One said the company shut its doors and dismissed the roughly 35-40 employees remaining at its Mississauga, Ontario and Lafayette, Colo. operations. 

According to one source, employees were given no notice of the impending closure. They were told only that they were now without jobs and given orders to remove their personal belongings and turn in keys and company-issued credit cards. 

Another source reported that the order to discontinue operations had come from Sumavision, Larcan's majority owner based in China. LARCAN began a partnership with Beijing's Sumavision Technologies Co., Ltd. in 2009, with that company acquiring a controlling interest in LARCAN in late 2013.
A DISH CALLED EX PARTE
Big time gambler DISH CEO makes the rounds of the FCC Commissioners

US satellite TV provider Dish Network has asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and it's none too happy about AT&T's pending acquisition of DirecTV, either.

 

The company's position was made known on Wednesday in a mandatory filing with the FCC summarizing a series of meetings Dish held with the agency on July 7.

 

"The pending Comcast/Time Warner Cable ... merger presents serious competitive concerns for the broadband and video marketplaces and therefore should be denied," Dish's filing states. "There do not appear to be any conditions that would remedy the harms that would result from the merger."

FCC SITE CRUSHED 
Last minute filings by LPTV licensees take down the FCC site?
Now wouldn't that be a cool headline to read one day? Nope, it was not those tired, beaten down, worn out, and forgotten 1836 LPTV licensees which overloaded the FCC website again today (and made this newsletter hard to find some inks for), no, it was those pesky internet and net neutrality legions of doom.  But it was fun to think about for a moment...hey, any of you got a white hat hacker in your employ?   Check out the cool chart from Roll Call.
FIVE BEST TV TUNER CARDS
I want my DTV anywhere anytime
The Lifehacker website does one of those simply comparisons for consumers, which I rarely put any value to, but it is a slow news day, and the server is humming along inserting those wonderful per inquiry spots for age spot removal, so I thought you might like this one.
COMMLAW BLOG ROCKS!
Fletcher Heald & Hildreth News Site Reveal
If you do not visit and read (for free) the CommLaw Blog from law firm Fletcher Heald & Heldreth, then take a gander over here to read and search all about the latest communications law topics.  We do, and they provide a great resource for keeping up on a wide range of fields. 
MAYOR'S WANT MORE PEG
Multi-year failed effort in Congress renewed
WHEREAS, there are more than 1,500 Public Educational and Government (PEG) access centers in the United States that manage upwards of 5,000 cable television public, educational, and governmental (PEG) channels that each week carry 20,000 hours of original programming from local governments, schools, health and jobs organizations, social services agencies, religious groups, and local residents; and 

WHEREAS, PEG channels and production centers have become the primary vehicle for preserving localism by providing vital local government information, educational content, civic and cultural information and religious and political expression to residents in local communities across America; ......  LEARN MORE
REVISIONS TO RULES

Low Power Auxiliary Stations, Including Wireless Microphones get rule making

In this document, the Federal Communications Commission takes steps to better enable wireless microphone users to provide high quality audio services to serve a wide range of needs. The Commission expands Low Power Auxiliary Station license eligibility under its part
74 rules to include professional sound companies and owners and operators of large venues that routinely use 50 or more wireless microphones, where the use of wireless microphones is an integral part of the major productions or events they host. 
NEW COALITION MEMBERS

Summer recruitment campaign begins with a bang and a bunch of new members

The Coalition has begun a summer recruitment campaign aimed at reaching out to all 1800+ LPTV licensees to join our efforts in standing up for LPTV Spectrum RIghts! Telephone call, snail mail, and emails are being used to reach many licensees who have never heard of our work here in DC.  They are usually pleasantly surprised that LPTV has "boots on the ground" in DC, the scale and scope of our website, our filings, and have mostly been eager to join. And that huge free membership has made it easy for sure.  

 

In the last month the Coalition has seen membership take off with more than 10 new licensee groups which have over 50 built stations and new construction permit sin CA, AK, CO, DC, IN, GA, WV, and FL. 
 
Welcome aboard One Ministries, Paramount Broadcasting Communication, Syncom Media, First Baptist Church Tifton, Belmax Broadcasting, D'Amico Brothers Broadcasting Corp
Uncle Sam Video LLC, WJOS Television, and R&S Broadcasting!   
MEMBERS
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.

Sincerely,

Mike Gravino
Director

(202) 604-0747
lptvcoalition@gmail.com