Broadcasters among spectrum winners - Broadcasting & Cable

Broadcasters among spectrum winners

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Broadcasters were among the winners of the Federal Communications Commission
auction, concluded Wednesday, of spectrum now used for TV channels 54, 55 and
59.

Among the top bidders were LIN Television Corp. and partner, Banks Broadcasting,
which won 20 licenses, including Providence, R.I.; Hartford and New Haven,
Conn.; Austin, Texas; and Wichita, Kan.

Capitol Broadcasting Co. Inc. pledged $888,000 for 12 licenses in North Carolina metro
markets.

The biggest winner was Aloha Partners LP with $43.3 million pledged for 77
licenses. Continental Cablevision Inc. founder Amos Hostetter is an Aloha investor.

In total, the auction garnered $88.7 million for the federal treasury after
accounting for small-business tax credits.

The winners are not entitled to the frequencies until the incumbent
broadcasters have completed the switch to digital television, which means 2006
at the earliest unless winners strike early buyout deals with the broadcasters.

A variety of new uses are envisioned for the frequencies, but TV is also
permitted.

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