Repack Lowers TV Station Count As FM Stations Surge

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The number of FM translators and boosters increased again, fourth quarter 2019 station totals from the FCC show.


However, it is the number of FM commercial and noncomm stations currently licensed for broadcast in the U.S. that is worthy of attention.

At the same, the number of UHF commercial TV stations — the majority of broadcast facilities in the U.S., despite the presence of a “UHF discount” for station owners — slightly dipped due to the post-spectrum auction repack process.

According to the official Broadcast Station Totals as of Dec. 31, 2019, some 8,182 boosters and translators are licensed with the Commission.

Meanwhile, the number of commercial UHF stations dipped, as the ongoing post-spectrum auction repack process is yielding additional channel-sharing agreements. In Q3, the number of commercial UHF stations bounced back from a Q2 decline.

Below is a full look at the current totals:


 

BROADCAST STATION TOTALS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2019

 

TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS: 33,513 

TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS at the end of Q3 2019: 33,492
TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS at the end of Q2 2019: 33,508

TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS at the end of Q2 2018: 33,133

All comparisons below to the end of Q3 2019

AM STATIONS                  4593 (minus 8)
FM COMMERCIAL             6772 (plus 44)
FM EDUCATIONAL           4135 (plus 13)
TOTAL                          15,500 (plus 49)

UHF COMMERCIAL TV      1004  (minus 8)
VHF COMMERCIAL TV       370 (plus 2)
UHF EDUCATIONAL TV      270 (plus 9)
VHF EDUCATIONAL TV      118 (minus 1)
TOTAL                            1,762 (plus 2)

CLASS A UHF STATIONS   356 (no change)
CLASS A VHF STATIONS    31 (no change)

FM TRANSLATORS & BOOSTERS 8182 (up 5)
(up from 7721 as of June 30, 2018)

UHF TRANSLATORS               2721 (down 9)
VHF TRANSLATORS               900 (down 1)

UHF LOW POWER TV             1447 (down 4)
VHF LOW POWER TV             445 (down 4)

LOW POWER FM             2,169 (down 17) 

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