T-Mobile, Fox Team to Speed Post-Auction TV Repack

Fox and T-Mobile have struck a deal to speed the post-incentive auction repack for Fox TV stations.

T-Mobile and Fox say it will cut 16 months of the Fox stations' repack timetable and reduce Fox's take from the FCC's $1.75 billion repack fund.

As part of the deal, WWOR-TV New York (Secaucus, N.J.) will repack early next year, more than a year ahead of the FCC's August 2019 deadline.

The Fox deal is part of a broader commitment by the wireless operator to pay reasonable costs for helping goose the repack so it can get access to the spectrum--it was the biggest winner in the incentive auction at $8 billion worth of licenses-as quickly as possible.

T-Mobile struck a deal earlier this year with PBS and Americas Public TV Stations (APTS) to help them with rural translators, whose moves are not covered by the relocation fund.

It also volunteered to pay for affected low-power stations to move to temporary channels.

“We’re committed to working with broadcasters across the country...so we can preserve programming and bring increased wireless choice and competition across the country!” said T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray.

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.