FCC LPTV Webinar Shows Auction Impact and Possible Solutions

Posted on March 3rd, 2015 by

After a weather delay of a week from its originally scheduled date, the FCC held a webinar addressing its rulemaking on how LPTV and TV translator stations displaced by the incentive auction will be able to channel change or otherwise remain on the air. The webinar was recorded and is available for viewing at this link (lower left hand corner of the web page).

The FCC didn’t really address anything new in terms of its rulemaking, but did review several of its proposals. First, they reviewed the proposal that full power TV stations will have a chance to get translators due to lost coverage area caused by repacking, which could further frustrate attempts by LPTV stations to secure viable options to remain on the air. Second, they reiterated that Class A stations that are repacked will not need to protect LPTVs and TV translators. Third, the FCC reiterated that a transitioned LPTV or TV translator station with a construction permit can ask for an extension of its permit until displacement (in order to avoid double builds). Un-transitioned LPTVs or translators (and those with digital only CPs) will need to build by the new digital transition date (whenever that is set). Finally, the proposed displacement rules allow the change from one DMA to another so long as it is not more than 30 miles and there is contour overlap.