Late last week, the FCC advanced a number of proposals on how it will deal with LPTV stations and TV translators after the incentive auction and the repacking of the TV spectrum into whatever channels are left after part of the TV band is repurposed for wireless uses. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking raises a number of issues, including the potential for delaying the mandatory digital transition for LPTV stations and translators that continue to operate in analog. The FCC also suggested a post-auction window for LPTV and translator stations to file for displacement channels if there current operations are no longer possible after the repacking of the TV band. It also addressed the potential for LPTVs on Channel 6 being able to transmit, post-digital transition, an analog audio channel so that “Franken FMs” (“radio stations” received on FM radio receivers on 87.7 that really are the audio portion of the LPTV’s programming), can continue.
Comments on these proposals will be due 30 days after publication of the Notice in the Federal Register, with reply comments 15 days thereafter. Presumably, as the incentive auction is fast approaching, as is the current deadline for mandatory September 1, 2015 digital conversion of these stations (which we wrote about here when the deadline was adopted), the FCC will act quickly on the proposals that have been made. So just what are the proposals on which the FCC is asking for comment?
Continue Reading FCC Proposals for Preserving LPTV and TV Translator Service after the Incentive Auction, Plus Proposals for Preservation of the Franken FM and an End to Analog Tuner Requirements