The Federal Communications Commission today adopted a Report and Order that expands broadcast stations’ ability to share a single TV channel so viewers can continue to receive their broadcast programming. The ability to channel-share is an important component of the FCC’s incentive auction, mandated by Congress in 2012, which provides a voluntary opportunity for full power and Class A broadcast stations to relinquish their spectrum and share a channel with another full power or Class A broadcaster in exchange for a part of the proceeds from a related mobile wireless auction. Separately, the Commission in 2015 extended channel sharing to low power television (LPTV) and TV translator stations to help stations displaced by the incentive auction stay on the air. Today’s Order permits television broadcast stations with an auction-related channel sharing agreement (CSA) to continue channel sharing by entering into a new CSA in the event that their existing agreement ends. This enables stations to continue providing service to their viewers. The new rules also permit Class A stations to channel share outside of the auction context. Additionally, all LPTV and TV translator stations are now able to share a channel with a full power or Class A station. This flexibility gives LPTV and TV translator stations that are displaced by the auction repacking process more options for continuing to operate. It also may reduce construction and operating costs for LPTV and TV translator stations, many of which have limited resources, are minority-owned, or provide programming to underserved audiences.
Attachments:Press Release A1.pdf [266 KB PDF]
Statement from Chairman Pai.pdf [72 KB PDF]
Statement from Commissioner Clyburn [85 KB PDF]
Statement from Commissioner O'Rielly [72 KB PDF]