Business Implications of TV Repack Brought Home


GatesAir-Spectrum-Repack-AudienceGatesAir brought in engineering executives — the people who approve budgets — from several television ownership groups and state networks to Cincinnati recently for a repack summit.

Presentations from the FCC, NAB, American Tower, Dielectric, GatesAir and Pearl provided a forum to discuss topics related to the reverse FCC auction, spectrum repack, and technologies and strategies to help station owners navigate the transition.

Broadcasters are now ordering tower studies, buying equipment and updating their RF plant infrastructure, according to the company.

This was the second the event was held; last year there was “a lot of uncertainty about timing,” but now the industry is really preparing for next-gen DTV, says GatesAir Chief Product Officer Rich Redmond. “Broadcasters are concerned with meeting tight deadlines for what will be the most challenging disruption to over-the-air TV services in decades.”

Some of the television group owner attendees were executives and engineers from Cordillera Communications, Cox Media Group, Graham Media Group, Meredith Corporation, Nexstar Broadcast Group, Quincy Broadcast Print Interactive, Raycom Media and Tribune Broadcasting.

GatesAir Technical Advisor Jay Adrick discussed station prep for repack, NAB VP Spectrum Policy Patrick McFadden gave attendees insight into outstanding regulatory questions surrounding the repack while FCC Video Division Associate Chief Pamela Gallant covered the reimbursement program. American Tower VP of Broadcast Peter Starke discussed construction logistics and their impact on multi-station TV and FM RF plants.

The complexities of migrating to the new ATSC 3.0 standard was discussed as well as the potential revenue opportunities and business implications.