Editorial: Bigger Tent

The National Association of Broadcasters is appropriately broadening its focus to include members that may want to give up some spectrum in the upcoming incentive auction.

Not surprisingly, NAB historically has been pushing back against an FCC that has made no secret of its desire to get spectrum away from broadcasters to give to wireless carriers.

But there are options for stations that want to stay in the business but also tap into the billions the FCC will be paying for station spectrum, particularly stations with major-market duopolies.

Arguably those station owners have a fiduciary responsibility to at least consider their options, particularly given the prices commanded by spectrum in the AWS-3 auction—almost $45 billion.

We were hoping the association would avoid the kind of schism produced by the differences between networks and other members over the 39% national ownership cap, and that appears to be the case.

Stations looking to put spectrum in the auction also have the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition, whichis focused on the auction as a financial opportunity at the right price and with the right rules. But the NAB is right to recognize it must serve members that may find a new model in sharing spectrum.