In spectrum auction, stations advised to take skeptical view of opening bids

Consultants are warning public TV licensees not to put too much weight on the opening bids for next year’s spectrum auction, which the FCC is expected to release as soon as this week.

John Lawson, former president of the Association of Public Television Stations, and Vincent Curren, former CPB c.o.o., gave that advice Wednesday at the annual National Educational Telecommunications Association conference in Tampa, Fla. Over-the-air viewership is growing, they said, and innovations in broadcast technology holds promise for new revenue models for stations that continue to broadcast over the air. In addition, the cellular carriers who will buy spectrum won’t be interested in most markets.

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