In the best-case scenario, the LPTV service in the US figures to be disrupted by channel repacking associated with incentive auctions, and the situation has led to the formation of the LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition, which seeks to give LPTV operators a voice and protect the service.
The organization is the brainchild of Mike Gravino. He said his interest began when he was getting pushback from investors due to his plan to recruit LPTVs to be affiliates of his Civic Affairs Network venture. He said, “I have been actively meeting with the Congressional Committees, FCC Commissioner staff, and the Spectrum Auction staff.”
The organization issued the following call to action.
It’s Time For All LPTV Licensees To Take Action
The summer and fall of 2013 will be one of the most important periods in the history of the LPTV service:
* Two new FCC Commissioners, including the new Chairman, will go through their confirmation hearings process, and the LPTV industry needs to make its issues part of the process.
* The FCC Spectrum Auction rules will be proposed and debated at the Commission and Congress, and the LPTV industry needs to be heard loud and clear.
* If the current NPRM rules are implemented, such as the “51 and down plan,” almost all LPTV stations will have to move and compete for new frequencies, many will have to change towers, and some will actually have to change DMA!
* There are a lot of other related issues in front of both the FCC and Congress?, and time is short to schedule ex-parte meetings with the decision makers and their staff. The LPTV industry needs a new voice in DC, someone with skin in the game, someone experienced in LPTV operations, and someone with current knowledge about the issues.
* Other groups are attempting to protect the rights of the full power and Class-A stations, and some about future broadcast standards. Our Coalition is focused on the survival of LPTV licensees, and protecting the spectrum rights they have paid a lot for with their build-outs, their community service, and their audience-building!
* Let us know your LPTV-related concerns and we will listen and offer our strategic advice. Some of you want MVPD must-carry status, some want the same spectrum protections as the full power stations, others want to be protected in the post-auction repack, and some of you want the latest news of what is going on. The Coalition will be doing all of that and much more.
The Coalition will be working most every day this summer to have the LPTV industry prepared for all of the legislative, legal, and administrative actions scheduled for this fall. Join us now so that we are prepared to have our concerns raised and acted on!