HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > FCC Releases Spectrum Auction Order

FCC Releases Spectrum Auction Order

The FCC this week issued the text of its Report & Order outlining the functioning of the upcoming television broadcast spectrum auction and subsequent repacking of remaining television stations.  The Commissioners approved this rulemaking last month by a partisan 3-2 vote.

Notably, the FCC decided that it will make “all reasonable efforts” to preserve a repacked TV station’s audience and coverage area, but specified that this was not a “hold harmless” provision.  “[I]n determining what is ‘reasonable,’” the report reads, “we agree with AT&T and other commenters that we should take into account the other objectives in the Spectrum Act, including the goal of repurposing spectrum — an objective which clearly militates in favor of an efficient repacking method.”

While NRB had pointed in its filed comments to the significance of the Spectrum Act’s “no-alter” clause for low power television, the FCC decided to decline repacking protection for LPTV and translators.   The order states:

We recognize that our decision will result in some viewers losing the services of these stations, may strand the investments displaced LPTV and TV translator licensees have made in their existing facilities, and may cause displaced licensees that choose to move to a new channel to incur the cost of doing so. On balance, however, we conclude that these concerns are outweighed by the detrimental impact that protecting LPTV and TV translator stations would have on the repacking process and on the success of the incentive auction.

Among those dissenting to this rulemaking was Commissioner Ajit Pai.  Commissioner Pai observed, “Broadcasters that do not participate in the incentive auction are not asking for special treatment. They… are simply asking to be held harmless rather than being made losers. This is a reasonable request, and we should have granted it. Indeed, I believe that this was Congress’s intent.” He added his concern that after the FCC’s rulemaking, “[T]here is a greater risk that some Americans will be left without any over-the-air television service after the incentive auction. This is wrong.”

NRB has and will continue to call on the FCC to purposefully protect programming choices for Americans, specifically the religious and family programming that NRB TV members provide free of charge to local communities.

  • Find the FCC spectrum auction order and related documents here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 6, 2014

Latest News

Mission Accomplished: Christians in Solidarity with Israel

“It feels like we are getting a great big hug!” That’s what the Israeli leadership said to us when we visited them last week.

NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson to Participate in Values Voter Summit 2014

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, will lead a powerful dialogue about recent attacks to our freedoms of religion and speech during next month’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.

Hope for Hurting Hearts Continues to Touch Lives and Win Awards

Hope for Hurting Hearts, a documentary film produced by Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, recently added another distinction to its running list of awards and accolades – this time for Best Editing from the Pan Pacific Film Festival.

Pure Flix's God's Not Dead Tops Home Video Sales Charts

God’s Not Dead, a film from NRB member Pure Flix Entertainment, debuted earlier this month at No. 1 on the Nielsen Christian Videos sales chart and No. 2 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks overall Blu-ray and DVD combined sales.

Do You Want to Highlight Your Organization in NRB Today - For Free?

We are soliciting descriptions about NRB members to feature in our weekly e-newsletter, NRB Today, and on the NRB website. If you are a member of NRB and are interested in being featured ...

NRBMLC Files Comments to DOJ on ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees

The NRB Music License Committee (NRBMLC) filed comments with the U.S. Department of Justice last week in response to its plans to review the “consent decrees” that govern how the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) license songs for public performance in the United States.

National Radio Day: A Look Back at the Early Days of Christian Broadcasting

When radio emerged as a public medium in the early 1920s, preachers were fascinated but cautious.

Christian Advocacy Group Protests Offensive Cartoon Network Program

The Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC), an advocacy group promoting quality Christian entertainment, is organizing a protest against Black Jesus, the Cartoon Network’s new controversial program.

CBN’s Superbook Partners with Newton Media

Newton Media has been selected to partner with CBN’s Superbook to brand market their award-winning animated Bible series and build their continuity program via DRTV, barter syndication, and digital platforms.

4 FEBC Volunteers Martyred in Ukraine

Four young FEBC volunteers who were recently captured by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine were brutally beaten to death simply for being Christians, according to a report from the organization last week.

More News