A webinar to explain the new rules for TV stations that want to share 6 MHz channels after the incentive auction (so that the broadcasters sharing the channel post-auction can enjoy the financial benefit of selling one of their channels during the auction), will be held by the FCC on July 22 from 2 to 3 PM ET. Information about the webinar and a place to register can be found on the FCC website, here. This webinar follows the FCC’s recent decision to provide more opportunities and flexibility for post-auction channel sharing, and the FCC’s other recent actions (see our article here) in moving the incentive auction forward. The webinar will also be on the heels of the decision to be announced on Thursday as to specific auction bidding procedures – including issues such as how the amounts of the initial monetary offers to TV stations to surrender their spectrum will be set, and how much those offers will be reduced in the subsequent bidding rounds until the FCC reaches its target amount of TV spectrum to be cleared for sale to wireless users. Today, let’s look at the channel sharing changes made in the FCC’s order released last month.
Channel sharing has been pushed by the FCC as a way for broadcasters to have their cake and eat it too in the incentive auction. By agreeing to share a 6 MHz channel with another broadcaster, a broadcaster can stay in the TV business and, at the same time, offer a channel for sale in the incentive auction and, if they are successful in that auction, reap the financial benefits of the sale (of course, they will have to share some of those benefits with the other station with which they plan to share). The FCC has even promised that stations that share will still be considered independent stations, so they can each sell their stations independently, and each station on a shared channel will have all the must carry and retransmission consent rights that they had when they independently operated on separate 6 MHz channels. But these agreements cannot be entered into without significant planning and forethought.
Continue Reading FCC to Conduct Channel Sharing Webinar after Revising Rules for Post-Incentive Auction Channel Sharing