EOBC: Let’s Get On With Auction - Broadcasting & Cable

EOBC: Let’s Get On With Auction

Says delaying would only 'enrich lawyers'
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In contrast to the National Association of Broadcasters, which slammed the FCC's auction procedures vote as leading to a parade of problems, the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition suggests it is a reasonable path forward and the industry needs to start moving along it.

EOBC represents most of a hundred TV stations interested in putting spectrum in the auction at the right price. EOBC would have preferred different bidding procedures but signaled after the auction that “as a concession to the shortness of life, it is time to end the debate and get on with the auction.”  

In the post, the coalition, which is headed by TV vet Preston Padden, shared "a few thoughts" about the FCC adoption of the Auction Procedures Public Notice, including that tanking media stocks suggest broadcasters should avail themselves of the financial opportunity of the auction.

"In the last few days billions of dollars in equity have been wiped out from the television industry," EOBC blogged. "The incentive auction is offering broadcasters a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to monetize their spectrum right in the middle of turbulent times in our industry."

EOBC also says the concerns--NAB and AT&T shared them, for example--about repacking TV stations in the wireless band was a "safety valve" for use in a worst-case scenario.

Broadcasters unhappy with the decision could ask the FCC to reconsider it, but EOBC say that would only serve to "enrich some lawyers."

"We urge all stakeholders to join our Coalition in helping the FCC to launch the auction on schedule." That would be accepting applications from broadcasters and wireless companies interested in the auction by early October and an auction starting March 29, 2016.

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