For decades, analog television broadcasts on Channel 6 offered those tuned to an FM radio a unique “bonus,” if you will. At 87.7 MHz was the audio associated with the visual images one would see on a television.
In Miami, NBC largely benefited from the in-car consumption of WTVJ-6’s audio. A similar scenario was seen in markets such as Albany, N.Y., and pioneering TV station WRGB-6 in Schenectady.
The transition to digital TV broadcasting put an end to the 87.7 MHz “simulcast,” as some TV stations promoted. However, other operators quickly moved to establish LPTV facilities on VHF Channel 6 expressly for its use as an audio service.
Now, the FCC’s Media Bureau “seeks to update the record” on the operation of such digital LPTV facilities “as ancillary or supplementary services” by opening a docket that could impact Weigel Broadcasting, Almavision and others using their TV facilities primarily for consumption on a radio.