At its meeting yesterday, the FCC adopted new rules for post-auction channel sharing by broadcast television stations (see the public notice here, full-text is now available here). Channel sharing was a concept adopted by the FCC in connection with the broadcast incentive auction, to allow two or more stations to share a single 6 MHz TV channel, while retaining separate licenses. To help convince stations to give up their channels in the incentive auction, the FCC allowed licensees to give up their channel in the incentive auction, while retaining their licenses and all the rights that go with these licenses (e.g. the right to sell the license, must-carry/retransmission consent rights, etc.) by sharing a 6 MHz channel with another licensee. The FCC adopted rules for channel sharing in the auction itself (see our summary here). Yesterday’s decision looked at post-auction channel sharing.
The new decision has importance in two principal areas. The first is for stations that entered into channel sharing agreements in connection with the auction that are time-limited rather than of unlimited duration. The second, with perhaps wider impact, is for secondary stations (e.g. LPTV and TV Translator stations). For these secondary stations, real benefits are offered in the potential for increased coverage through sharing with full-power stations.
Continue Reading FCC Adopts New Rules for Post-Incentive Auction Channel Sharing – Including Opportunities for LPTV and TV Translators to Increase Over-the-Air Coverage