Weekly Newsletter, 8/29

washington-dc-1117367_1280FAB v. FCC in District Circuit

The Free Access & Broadcast Telemedia, LLC and five additional co-filers have challenged the FCC’s framework for the spectrum auction. This is the FAB’s second appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. During their first appeal, the court ruled that two of the FAB’s co-filers lacked standing for the case.

In the first case, Word of God Fellowship, Inc., a co-filer, was denied standing because of its lack of participation in FCC proceedings before the final FCC orders setting the framework for the auction were issued. The FAB was ruled without standing because they did not own or have stake in an LPTV station.

The parties involved have challenged this ruling; the FAB believes the ruling does not abide by the congressional instruction that any aggrieved party can petition for review of an FCC decision. However, the standing should not come into question in this appeal because the FAB’s four co-filers hold LPTV licenses and activley participated prior to the FCC’s final orders.

The new appeal includes the same arguments presented in the first case, but the FAB has added two additional constitutional charges. Their original and present case claims the FCC’s move to force an LPTV station out of business without compensation is an unconstitutional endeavor under the Fifth Amendment. In addition, the FAB takes issue with the final Commencing Operations Order.

This order allows a wireless company with a newly-issued license to boot an LPTV station off the air without any intervention, review, or appeals allowed. The argument is that the order gives a private entity an unconstitutional delegation of congressional authority.

In its second addition to the appeals, the FAB claims the FCC is inflicting punishment without recourse to target entities by unlawfully turning its Spectrum Act into a Bill of Attainder, or an act in the name of Congress by its creations.

Find the full FAB appeals case II brief here.

FCC Spectrum Auction May Fall Short Of Initial Targetadmin-ajax

The trend in bidder behavior thus far at the spectrum auction does not bode well for the goal originally set by the FCC before the auction began. The financial conditions are lower than planned for.

Original hopes for the auction were $86.4 billion. The FCC arrived at this figure through an auction process soliciting licenses from broadcasters and continually dropping prices until a sufficient number exited the spectrum. However, after round 22, the bids are only at $21.4 billion. This is a foreboding prediction of the lengthy bidding process it will take to close this auction.

The FCC’s goal is to free up a large portion of the spectrum to be used for wireless internet, and the FCC won’t end the auction until the bids match up to a predetermined amount of spectrum licenses. A portion of the proceeds will go to broadcasters.

“I don’t think anyone expects this to go to $86 billion,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics LLC, told Bloomburg BNA. “I am actually flabbergasted that people are still bidding, that they’re playing in this absurd theater trying to reach a number that they know they will not reach.”

e-commerce-402822_1280FCC Spectrum Auction Round 22 Results

During round 22 of the FCC’s spectrum auction, the FCC raised prices from 5 percent per round to 10 percent. The resulting bids were $21.4 billion. This is a little over 4 percent from round 21.

The demand for spectrum space did not meet the 10 percent increase desired by the FCC. With a predicted $86 billion of total auction sales possibly not coming too soon, the FCC will need to draw this auction out in order to repay broadcasters for their moving and auction expenses.

Some bids, such as those in Dothan, Ala., did not even reach the raise in price the FCC set during round 22.

Round 23 will need to be much better if demand is ever expected to exceed supply.

 

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link https://www.broadcastingalliance.org/join-us/ to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.

Respectfully,

The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance