Los Angeles noncommercial stations KLCS and KCET have signaled they want to share channels and give up spectrum to the broadcast incentive auction.
KLCS had been conducting a channel-sharing test with KJLA, the flagship station for the LATV Network, but will actually do the sharing with the iconic KCET, which has been going it alone since giving up its PBS affiliation in January 2011 to avoid the multi-million dollar dues.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who had said their FCC-approved sharing test made a compelling case for sharing, welcomed the news which means broadcasters will be giving up spectrum in at least one of the top markets the FCC is eyeing in its incentive auction.
“I’m pleased Los Angeles stations KLCS and KCET have reached an agreement to share spectrum following the first-ever incentive auction. When I visited KLCS last spring, I was impressed that channel sharing worked so seamlessly and opened the door to new business models for broadcasters. It’s a compelling opportunity for broadcasters to continue their existing business on a shared channel, and take home a check for the spectrum they relinquish in the incentive auction. It is my hope that other broadcasters give it careful consideration as well.”
TV stations are being given the option of sharing channels as one way to give up spectrum for wireless mobile. Each station will retain must-carry rights.