According to a report in Broadcasting & Cable, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has petitioned the FCC to reconsider its “flawed” framework and timeline for repacking TV stations after the incentive auction, saying not to do so will hurt broadcasters and their viewers.
The auction’s official ending date is scheduled for the end of March and a final “Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice,” announcing who won what, is expected to be released mid-April. From that point, broadcasters remaining on the air have 39 months to move to new channels. The FCC has said a deadline is needed so that the spectrum forward auction bidders, paying almost $20 billion, can be freed up.
In a filing with the FCC March 17, NAB says the agency made mistakes in setting up the auction, including making it overly complicated and not letting stations that had dropped out back in, and created a framework for repacking that does not sufficiently take into account the “unprecedented logistical and operational challenges” both for the commission and industry.