ISSUED TO THE TRADE PRESS THIS AFTERNOON...
US HOUSE ENERGY & COMMUNICATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE TOTALLY IGNORES THE POTENTIAL DAMAGES AND THREATS TO THE 8000+ LPTV AND TV TRANSLATOR LICENSEES AND PERMIT HOLDERS, THE HUNDREDS OF NETWORKS THEY AIR, THE TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO WATCH THEM, AND THE 1000'S OF COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE.
THE ATTENDING FCC OFFICIALS SEEMED TO HAVE BEEN WARNED TO NOT EVEN SAY "LPTV", AND CONVENIENTLY FORGET TO MENTION THE DAMAGES TO THEM.
Mike Gravino, Director of the LPTV SPECTRUM RIGHTS COALITION, was in "total shock" today that the elected representatives of more than 30 states would forget to ask about the potential damage and harm the Incentive Spectrum Auction process was doing and would do to the LPTV industry, its viewers, supporting industry, and the communities they serve.
"The very elected officials who blindly pushed the Incentive Spectrum Auction into law three years, did not even have the decency, intellectual curiosity, or political courage to ask the FCC auction leadership about the existential threat the auction is and will be to the LPTV industry, its viewers, the communities they serve, and the industries which support them. The elected officials on both sides of the aisle were more concerned about how to provide cell service to a town in Oregon of 125 people than the tens of millions who rely on the community and multi-cultural programming LPTV licensees provide. And the FCC auction leadership seemed to purposely choose to not mention LPTV at all, even when asked about the potential problems broadcasters might have."
Gravino went on to say...
"The members of Congress who attended the meeting seemed awestruck with the fact that the recent AWS auction actually generated $40+ billion for the government. But they did not seem to care about the many billions of dollars of potential damages, livelihoods, and family legacy businesses they are destroying by not even assisting LPTV with relocation funding."
"LPTV and TV translator licenses are the largest single group of stakeholders in the Incentive Auction process, and are not compensated for anything at all. The majority of the spectrum to be auction off is being taken from LPTV licensees, and not one word about this from either the Subcommittee members, its' Chairman, or the FCC officials. This will now be addressed in the Courts. The gloves are coming off, and if we have to stop the auction dead in the its' tracks, let it be so."
AN IMPORTANT NOTE TO OUR CLASS-A MEMBERS AND THOSE OTHER CLASS-A'S WHICH ARE ALSO AUCTION ELIGIBLE..
We have been fighting for your rights in the auction process, and we are totally in support of you having a profitable payday in it. And we also realize that many of you will reinvest back into LPTV stations and new permits when the auction is over. According to the FCC's Greenhill 1 report, the 400 of you will be getting $50 billion in opening bids, and according to Greenhill 2, the 400 of you will be settling for $5 billion. That is a lot of money and none of it is being spread around to the rest of the industry. For the less than 400 of the Class-A's this is great, but the rest of the 8000+ of us it is not. It is simply not fair, YET the rest of us can survive and prosper under the right conditions. Unless we are united to fight for ALL of LPTV and TV translators, our industry will not be treated fairly. HELP US HELP YOU HAVE A SUCCESSFUL AUCTION, JUST DO NOT DO IT ON OUR BACKS, AND AT A COST TO US SO YOU CAN PROFIT FROM IT AND WE LOSE...HELP US GET RELOCATION FUNDING AND CHANNELS TO MOVE TO!