One thing is for sure: The incentive auction is coming (well, we’ve seen a few say it might not happen, but…). There are, however, a lot of things that are not for sure, and the NAB has a new web resource aimed at filling the information gap.
The site is designed to help television owners and operators make informed business decisions in regard to the auction.
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said, “NAB is committed to being the most comprehensive and accurate resource for all television broadcasters interested in how the incentive auction may affect them, regardless of whether or not they intend to participate. We look forward to continuing to work with the FCC to ensure a successful auction for all stakeholders.”
The site is a one-source stop for links to information that is currently available. But it also goes a step further in an attempt to answer other pertinent questions.
“One of the key pieces of information missing to date is the number of relinquishing UHF stations the FCC may require in any given market. The accompanying map and associated information aims to fill that void. Based on the information provided publicly by the FCC, NAB has developed a market-by-market snapshot detailing the possible ranges of auction volunteers likely to be needed. We note that this analysis is based on relinquishment of a full 6 MHz license, although the number of channel sharing opportunities can easily be extrapolated as well.
“There are many interesting takeaways from this analysis. For example, there are some markets where the FCC may need to accept bids from more than half of the stations in the market. In other markets, the FCC may need to accept only a single bid, or may not need to accept any bids at all, depending on the megahertz target and the outcomes in neighboring areas.
“We stress that these predictions are based on the data made available by the FCC to date and on the rules currently in place or proposed. As these elements shift over time, or if the FCC releases its own information about how many participants are needed per market, we will update our analyses. Our aim is to provide broadcasters with the information they need to make informed choices as auction season approaches. NAB is available to help our members understand their options and the implications of the incentive auction for those interested in participating, as well as those who are not.”