D.C. Circuit Panel Hears LPTV Arguments against Incentive Auction Rules

Yesterday, attorneys for low power television (LPTV) station owners Mako Communications and Beach TV Properties, Inc. outlined their grievances against the FCC’s incentive auction rules at the D.C. Circuit Court.  The petitioners asserted that the FCC’s refusal to grant LPTV licensees protection during the broadcast channel repacking process violates Section 6403(b)(5) of the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which states that “nothing in this subsection shall be construed to alter the spectrum usage right” of LPTV stations.  Counsel for the FCC, meanwhile, highlighted the secondary status of LPTVs in reminding the court that the agency is authorized under Section 6301(b)(1) of the 2012 Act to “make . . . reassignments of television channels as the Commission considers appropriate” and to “relocate such portions of such spectrum as the Commission determines are available for reallocation.”

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