LPTV NEWS - MON. - NOV. 8, 2015
POST AUCTION REPACK CHAOS?
SHOWS THAT FROM 850-1150 PRIMARIES CAN NOT BE REPACKED WITHIN 39 MONTHS, AND MAY ACTUALLY TAKE A DECADE, THEN HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR 5000 LPTV AND TV TRANSLATORS TO GET THEIR NEW CHANNELS TOWERED AND BUILT?
from the cover letter of the study...
On December 30, 2013, the FCC released a report completed by Widelity, Inc. (the "Widelity Report") analyzing the estimated time and costs required for individual television stations to move to a new channel assignment following the incentive auction. While this report is useful in certain respects, it did not analyze the time and financial resources that might be required to complete a nationwide repacking of the scope contemplated by the Commission.
To help inform the Commission as it grapples with the task of a nationwide broadcaster repack, Digital Tech Consulting, Inc. (DTC
commissioned by the National Association of Broadcasters to study the time and costs associated with the relocation of a large number of television stations following the auction.
and to sum up the Report from it's own conclusions...
"The conclusion of this study is that it will not be possible for all the assumed number of TV stations required to transition to new channels to do so within the stated FCC deadlines."
"The study concludes that the Commission's three-month window for filing for construction permits (CP) falls well short of the actual time needed to submit and process the applications for the 860 to 1,164 stations that will likely be required to move to new channels (This study estimates 12-18 months). Likewise, the study concludes it is not possible that an industry wide transition of such a large number of TV stations to new channels can be completed in the three-year window currently required. In fact, the study's research and analysis estimates a far greater amount of time to accomplish the transitions."
"This study forecasts that, at best, between 297 and 445 stations can complete the required tasks in that time period, assuming normal conditions."
We agree with NAB that the repacking process will last much longer than 39 months. And for sure it could cost a lot more for that part of the TV broadcasting industry to rebuild. We really feel for them, as we are going to also experience a collective billion dollar++ cost. But there are no funds available from Congress to pay for the unexpected additional costs by auction eligible licenses. And Congress is unwilling to do a bill related to the incentive auction. A few weeks back, Commissioner Rosenworcel told the Senate that if the costs were higher the FCC would come back to Congress. So this would be post facto. And the time to review it would be about 3 months after the auction, once any modifications have been applied for. The FCC begins to dole out repacking funds then, and it should be able to project a shortfall if it is larger than anticipated. Trying to get Congress, now, to "fix" a potential problem in the auction, well, that dog don't bark, but I understand ya gotta try. We do have a solution, which is being rolled out soon, so stay tuned.
LPTV COURT OF APPEALS NEWS
The first three LPTV and translator Court of Appeals cases related to the Incentive Auction are now being merged, and here is the Statement of Issues from one of them, the Free Access and Broadcast Telemedia, and Word of God Fellowship (Daystar).
PETITIONERS' NONBINDING STATEMENT OF ISSUES
Pursuant to the Court's order dated Oct. 7, 2015 [Doc. #1576971], Petitioners currently intend to raise the following issues, inter alia:
1. The Commission's action violates the Spectrum Act of 2012,1 which expressly provides that the Commission's incentive spectrum auction may not "alter the spectrum usage rights of low-power television stations." 47 U.S.C. § 1452(b)(5).
2. The Commission's action violates the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, by failing to thoroughly analyze its potential adverse economic impacts on low-power television stations as small entities, and by failing to demonstrate that the Commission "has taken" steps to "minimize the significant economic impact" of its incentive auction rules on low-power television stations. 5 U.S.C. §§ 604(a), 605(b).
3. The Commission's action is "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law." 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A).
4. The Commission's action exceeds "the scope of [the Commission's] lawful authority," it is not "logical and rational," and it lacks "consideration of the relevant factors," including the significant costs of its action on LPTV stations. Michigan v. EPA, 135 S. Ct. 2699, 2706 (2015).
5. The Commission's action violates the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
CHICAGO NONCOM INCENTIVE AUCTION UPDATE
Most of us know that the incentive auction is not a sure thing, especially not the opening bids pricing. But for Mayor Emanuel and City Colleges to not even explore the alternative, LPTV, they are being irresponsible. City Colleges already has the studios, the talent, and cable carriage based on their PEG channels, so adding an LPTV broadcaster would give them full coverage as now. They should sell in the auction and then strike a long term lease with a Chicago-area LPTV licensee.
NEW NONPROFIT TO ASSIST LPTV LOCAL BROADCASTERS
"Telletopia is poised to help us drive engagements with online viewers while ensuring broadcasters remain a vital source of local news, entertainment and sports. Not only will Telletopia extend our advertising to the Internet, they will provide real-time viewership data down to a level of detail we've never had before."
MAKE SURE TO TELL TELLETOPIA YOU READ ABOUT THEM HERE!
PRIVATE MARKET INCENTIVE AUCTION
LPTV AND TV TRANSLATOR COVERAGE IN P.R.
PUERTO RICO PRIVATE MARKET
800 MHz SPECTRUM AUCTION
Preferred Communication Systems, Inc. and North Sight Communications, Inc., have agreed to jointly offer their Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands 800 MHz spectrum in an open public auction scheduled to begin December 1, 2015. The two companies together hold 9.15 MHz of cellular Band 26 spectrum on the Islands. The combined 800 MHz spectrum offered in the auction will be the last opportunity to acquire 800 MHz cellular spectrum that provides coverage to the entire Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands market areas.
Walters & Associates, Inc. has been engaged to conduct the auction for the two companies. Charles E. Walters of the firm stated "The recently concluded AWS-3 Auction demonstrated the demand for cellular spectrum in the Puerto Rico market. The spectrum offered in the upcoming auction would increase the 800 MHz holding of the A or B Block cellular licensees by 36%, represents over 65% of the available cellular Band 26 spectrum in the Puerto Rico market, and represents over 50% more spectrum than that available in the 6 MHz channels which will be offered in the upcoming 600 MHz FCC incentive auction. These are the reasons we have received so much interest in the 800 MHz spectrum offering by carrier companies and spectrum investors."
Walters & Associates, Inc. plans to conduct a reverse auction patterned after the upcoming 600 MHz FCC incentive auction. The opening bid price will be set based on the opening bid prices set by the FCC for the Puerto Rico market in the upcoming 600 MHz spectrum auction. As each round of the auction progresses, the offering price will be reduced incrementally until a winning bid is received for the spectrum.
For a copy of the comprehensive Offering Statement for the Puerto Rico 800 MHz spectrum, along with the auction bid instructions and an auction registration form, please
contact Charles E. Walters of Walters & Associates, Inc. here.
For More Information Contact:
Charles E. Walters, ASA
Walters & Associates, Inc.
LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition