You May Soon Need to Rescan Your Antenna to Find Your Favorite Stations




A few years ago the FCC started the process of letting TV stations sell their spectrums to cellular networks and others. That auction saw almost 1,000 TV channels sell their spectrums, and over the next few years, they all will be moving to a new channel number.

The winners of the auction, which spent over $10 billion combined, don’t want to wait. Some winners such as T-Mobile have started to offer TV networks additional cash to turn over their spectrum early, and some are taking them up on that offer. The FCC has said channel owners have several years to hand over their spectrum to the winners.

This week some of the first networks shut down their towers and moved to a new channel number. The biggest example is WCWG, a CW affiliate in Greensboro, North Carolina, which moved to a sub channel of the local NBC affiliate WXII. Both stations are owned by the same parent company, but now the CW no longer has its own channel and will be a digital sub channel.

Of the stations that sold networks, 92% of them said they plan to or have struck deals to have their channels carried as a digital network on a different channel number. It looks like most, such as WCWG, are just merging with channels that their parent company already owns.

So if you wake up one morning and don’t have an over-the-air TV channel you love, make sure to rescan and see if it moved.

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