Despite Uncertainty, Multicasters Are Confident About Post-Auction Landscape

Network chiefs say scenario of fewer players will create programming distribution opportunities

Related: State of Slates Is Key Variable In Multicast Equation

While a cloud of mystery still covers the broadcast incentive auction, multicast networks think their future post-auction is bright.

Jonathan Katz, Katz Broadcasting president/CEO and Bounce TV COO, says his nets are confident about the post-auction world. There will be a distribution gap, he says, and “we’re comfortable in our ability to fill that gap.” Because there will be “fewer players for an ever-growing audience,” Katz says, “we believe our growth will excel post-auction.”

Ron Garfield, GM and executive VP of Buzzr, likewise believes that limited spectrum will give them an advantage. “I have the ability to run a business at a very controlled cost that allows us the opportunity to work through some unpredictable roads,” Garfield says.

With so much out of multicasts’ control—spectrum might go away, channels might not have a place to go—Garfield says all that his retro game show net can do is run an efficient business subject to minimal or no fluctuation.

Neal Sabin, Weigel Broadcasting vice chairman, notes that because of technological advances stations can do plenty with less bandwidth. Still, there are so many unknowns. “Anyone who says they know exactly what’s happening is lying,” Sabin says, “because they don’t.”