NAB 2016: Clyburn Sees Diversity Dividend in ATSC 3.0

FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn sees promise in the new ATSC 3.0 standard to increase diversity and help out LPTVs after the incentive auction.

In a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas Tuesday, Clyburn referenced the petition filed last week by broadcasters asking the FCC to fast-track a market-by-market rollout of the new advanced transmission standard.

Clyburn said that she would be vetting that petition for what it could do for diversity. "By some accounts, today’s six megahertz broadcast channel, could be used to distribute as many as six to eight separate high-definition channels," she said, according to her speech.

She also said that could lead to new voices in the market or "provide an option for the many LPTV stations I have met with, who are concerned about their future in broadcasting."

Clyburn said that could help fulfill her goal of greater viewpoint diversity.

She also said that the broadcast incentive auction could also enhance or at least preserve that diversity through channel sharing.

"The Commission’s auction rules, of course, allow for sharing between commercial and non-commercial stations as well as between Class A and full-power stations. I am optimistic that these arrangements will come together and give a boost to the broadcast industry," she said.

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.