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LPTVs Back EOBC Station Value Recalculation

Some Class A low power TV stations have weighed in at the FCC in support of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition proposal to adjust the FCC's computation of TV station opening bid prices in the upcoming incentive auction.

Class A's are low power stations that, unlike most in that category, are allowed to participate in the incentive auction.

WatchTV, which owns seven Class A's in the Pacific Northwest, and One Ministries, which owns two Class A's, filed comments at the FCC in support of EOBC.

EOBC's proposal would boost the FCC's opening bid prices by billions of dollars, and while the prices would be coming down—it is a reverse auction—EOBC points out that it is better to start from a higher valuation, and one which better reflects a station's impact on repacking after the auction. The more potential post-auction interference is prevented by reclaiming a particular station's spectrum, the greater its value to the FCC.

EOBC, which represents stations interested in participating in the auction at the right price, has recalculated opening bid prices for every station based on an alternative formula, one that takes into account a station's impact on other stations (in the repacking after the auction), an impact EOBC argues goes "far beyond its protected contour."

WatchTV says it plans to put its seven stations' worth of spectrum into the auction regardless, but is urging the FCC to adopt the higher prices, for obvious reasons. "The Commission should remain true to the principle established by Congress and espoused by the agency, by offering opening prices that reflect both the impact of each station in terms of its preclusionary impact on wireless operations and the new value levels established by the marketplace in Auction No. 97. That is what EOBC is asking and is what the Commission should do," said WatchTV in a letter to the commission.

Deadline for comment on the EOBC proposal is March 13.