EOBC Praises Auction Order

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition (EOBC) found reason to applaud the FCC's just-released incentive auction framework order.

Coalition executive director Preston Padden praised the effort of the staff in producing what he called a "milestone." He was also pleased by some of the substance. "The Coalition appreciates the assurance that sharing stations may change their city of license and that the FCC will not score stations based on enterprise value."

The coalition comprises stations, likely mostly independents in major markets—their identities are guarded for competitive reasons—who could put spectrum up for auction if the price is right, which includes valuing stations for the value of their spectrum in clearing and repacking, not for their value as TV station operations.

The FCC released the 484-page order Monday and the National Association of Broadcasters was vetting it. But they can't be pleased with the FCC's decision not to hold stations harmless in the repack, pointing out that the "all reasonable efforts" language in statute has to include the value of clearing spectrum for wireless as well as the value of preserving broadcasters coverage areas and interference protections.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.