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Sinclair Talks Tough

Sinclair Broadcast Group has suggested that the Hippocratic Oath approach taken by broadcasters— it begins with ”first do no harm”—that seems to guide the upcoming spectrum incentive auction shortchanges both the medium and its audience. In comments on the FCC’s September Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) suggesting a framework for auctions and broadcast spectrum reclamation, Sinclair says the FCC’s goal should include the development of a next-generation broadcast technical standard that would allow TV service to improve, not just survive the government push toward wireless broadband.

Sinclair points out that the FCC is all about innovation and new technology and services. It suggests broadcasters have not been invited to that dance as well: “Sinclair finds the attitude of the NPRM troubling in that it aspires, at best, to do minimal harm to the broadcasting service. This aims far too low. The same NPRM touts the benefits that ‘flexible use’ of spectrum and evolving technology have brought to consumers and the economy.”

Why go through the trouble of moving hundreds of TV stations, says Sinclair, and not take the opportunity to improve service on the other end of that process?