Almost 1,000 Over The Air TV Stations Will Need to Move Channels After FCC Auction




Couple on sofa with TV remote

The FCC auction of broadcast TV spectrum is over and 957 over the air TV stations are effected. Back in 2012 the process to auction off the spectrum that over the Air TV stations use started. Now it has come to an end.

A total of 957 TV stations will get payments for giving up spectrum from the auction. In total about 50 wireless bidders—including Comcast/NBCU—got that spectrum. The payouts are large with the largest single TV station getting $304 million for their spectrum. (The 957 number includes sub channels.)

“The conclusion of the world’s first incentive auction is a major milestone in the FCC’s long history as steward of the nation’s airwaves,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai. “Consumers are the real beneficiaries, as broadcasters invest new resources in programming and service, and additional wireless spectrum opens the way to greater competition and innovation in the mobile broadband marketplace.”

In total broadcasters got $10,054,676,822 for their 84 MHZ of spectrum and forward auction bidders had paid a total $19,768,437,378 for the 70 MHz that was left after guard bands were subtracted as buffers between channels and homes for unlicensed devices.

While 957 stations seems like a lot in total there are 2,000 stations that could have sold their spectrum but didn’t.

So what will this spectrum be used for? It seems most buyers want to use it for wireless phones and internet. Many are hopping t use it for the new 5G wireless standard that promises gigabyte internet speeds over the air.

While the sale is over TV stations have a few years before they have to transfer over to their new over the air TV station numbers. So it is unlikely you will see any new wireless services popping up for a few years.

Source: MultiChannel

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