Broadcasters seek frequency auction delay

A coalition of 26 broadcast companies Friday asked the FCC to delay for a fifth time the pending auction of frequencies used for TV channels 60-69.

Their request would move the bidding from Sept. 12 this year to January 2002. The group, which also includes consulting firm Spectrum Exchange Group and investment bank Allen & Co., would need FCC approval prior to beginning of the government auction.

Their aim is to work out private deals that will allow winning bidders to buyout incumbent broadcasters before stations must give up operations on the band at the end of the digital TV transition. TV groups in the coalition include Paxson, Entravision, Shop at Home, Sinclair, and LIN say they need on more delay to complete their band clearing plans. - Bill McConnell