Local Broadcasters: TV is Highest, Best Use of Spectrum

A consortium of TV groups filing jointly have told the FCC where to go
for spectrum; which is somewhere else.

In their filing at the FCC, which requested comments--due Dec. 21--on
how it might reclaim some broadcast spectrum, 24 groups representing a whopping
226 TV stations large and small, said that broadcast TV "represents the
highest and best use of the spectrum in the public interest."

To be able to innovate, serve the public and remain competitive,
broadcasters need all their spectrum, they said. "The channel-sharing and
service area reductions contemplated in the Public Notice would take this
ability away from broadcasters and likely result in widespread viewer reception
difficulties," they argued.

Broadcasting is the most efficient way to deliver popular programming,
they said, echoing the National Association of Broadcasters' argument that the
one-to-many model trumps wireless telephones one-to-one communications. The FCC
is seeking spectrum for wireless broadband, and has argued that broadband and
TV video delivery are merging.¨

"The Local Television Broadcasters urge the Commission to avoid
coercive measures and instead provide all FCC licensees with ample flexibility
to respond to technological innovation and consumer demand, which will continue
to change in ways none can predict," they said.

The FCC is looking to free up more spectrum as part of its national
broadband plan, due to Congress Feb. 17. While broadcasters argue they need to
hold onto their spectrum, wireless phone and computer companies say they have
to get more spectrum from somewhere and broadcasters are a prime target.

Broadcast groups represented in the filing: Allbritton Communications
Company; Bahakel Communications, Ltd.; Boise Telecasters, LP; Cocola
Broadcasting Companies, LLC; Communications Corporation of America; Evening
Post Publishing Company; GOCOM Media of Illinois; Granite Broadcasting
Corporation; Gray Television, Inc.; Lilly Broadcasting, LLC; Local TV, LLC;
Malara Broadcast Group, Inc.; McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Company; Media General;
Inc.; Meredith Corporation; National Communications, LLC; New Vision
Television; LLC Parkin Broadcasting, LLC; SJL Broadcast Management Corporation;
Smith Media, LLC; SP Television LLC; Tribune Company; White Knight Broadcasting,
Inc.; WNAC, LLC.

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.