What’s Your Station’s Repack Bill? It Could Be Big


The FCC has released a “catalog of potential expenses and estimated costs” for LPTV stations and TV translator facilities, and for FM radio stations, most likely to be incurred as a result of broadcaster repacking.

“While we believe the catalog is relatively comprehensive, it does not cover every possible expense for every situation, nor is it an exhaustive list of all expenses that may potentially qualify for reimbursement,” the Commission notes.

The 20-page appendix features categories and costs built upon the work conducted by Widelity Inc., which developed the original 2013 catalog for Full Power and Class A broadcasters and MVPDs for the FCC as part of the Widelity Report, which was published for comment in 2014.

However, as certain cost components and types of equipment are not applicable to LPTV stations, FM stations and FM and TV translators and certain costs are applicable only to these types of facilities, the cost categories and price ranges vary from the catalog
for Full Power and Class A broadcasters and MVPDs.

Accordingly, there are “inherent differences” in various cost component and cost ranges, which are clarified to for LPTV stations, FM stations and FM and TV translators.

LPTV reconfiguration costs could fall between $2,000 and $20,000.

Meanwhile, a UHF station seeking an air-cooled solid state transmitter/translator of 2.5-4kw could see a bill anywhere between $57,000 and $155,600.

The costliest part of the repack, as shown in the Catalog, involves tower rigging. These expenses could run in excess of $200,000.

Meanwhile, the costs radio stations face are even higher.

As noted on Page 12, an air cooled solid state FM transmitter, minus installation costs, for a 40kw analog facility runs between $132,500 and $231,300. A 30kw hybrid is between $128,000 and $178,500.

A bill as high as nearly $350,000 could also be seen for some stations.

Then, there’s the tower rigging, which could involve costs upward of $400,000.

— reporting by Adam R Jacobson, from Hollywood