Mike Gravino, director of the LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition put out the call Wednesday for PBS affiliates worried about having a home following the broadcast incentive auctions.
Noncoms, including PBS, expressed earlier this month their "profound disappointment" that the FCC auction framework does not ensure that all communites have free access to a public TV station following the auction and repacking of stations into smaller spectrum space.
"There are a growing number of PBS affiliates which want to enter the auction, and if they do, the PBS network is concerned that there will be gaps in the national coverage for PBS," said Gravino. "Many of these stations are owned by educational, community-owned and faith-institutions, and if they want to take a payday for their organizations in the auction, the door is now wide-open for PBS affiliates to contract with LPTV stations for carriage. But it must be done prior to the auction happening."
Gravino pointed out that during a webinar Wednesday on the auctions, Media Bureau Chief William Lake said that PBS affiliates who channel share on LPTV stations will still get must-carry rights because must-carry status is attached to the channel giving up spectrum.
LPTV stations would gain some added, and needed, revenue from such sharing arrangements.