The success of the incentive auction requires broadcast television station to participate. The FCC will try to bolster the number of participants by sending out info on the financial benefits, said Chairman Tom Wheeler.
There are two ways stations can participate.
One is to simply relinquish their entire 6 mHZ swathe of spectrum, cash in with their share of the auction proceeds and exit the business.
The other is to partner with a second licensee, selling one 6 MHz channel and co-locating with 3 MHz each of the other channel, functioning as does a full power digital television station that multicasts. Each licensee would share in auction proceeds and remain in business at the same time.
At least one activist was pleased by the announcement. Expanding Opportunities For Broadcasters Coalition Executive Director Preston Padden said, “We enthusiastically thank and applaud Chairman Wheeler and the diligent FCC Staff for providing television broadcasters with this vital financial guidance. We believe that next year’s Incentive Auction will be an historic and important opportunity for many broadcasters and we hope and expect that this financial guidance will confirm that fact.”
NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton also commented, saying, “We are glad the FCC is providing more information publicly for potential broadcast participants in the auction. That is a key part of the auction. If we can just get balanced protections for those stations that choose not to participate, we think we’ll see a terrific auction.”