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WRNN COO Backs Incentive Auction Timeline - Broadcasting & Cable

WRNN COO Backs Incentive Auction Timeline

Says FCC should up opening bid prices given success of AWS-3
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Count the chief operating officer of WRNN-TV Kingston, N.Y., to those who are potentially interested in participating in the upcoming incentive auction.

According to an ex parte filing with the FCC, WRNN COO Christian French is calling on the FCC to keep to its early 2016 auction timetable and to "properly recognize the extraordinary value of the spectrum," including upping the estimates given the success of the AWS-3 spectrum auction, which generated almost $45 billion in bids, more than twice early estimates.

French's station is one of those that would appear an ideal candidate for channel sharing— an independent "that serves a substantial majority of households in the nation's largest media market."

French also wants the FCC to "modify or replace the proposal for dynamic reserve pricing, and greatly enhance transparency, consistent with statutory obligations for confidentiality," so that broadcasters can engage in necessary and reasonable price discovery expected by participants in any auction process.

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition has been making similar requests of the FCC in light of AWS-3 and what it sees as needed tweaks to the auction framework and, in fact, EOBC Executive Director Preston Padden was cited in French's letter.

Members of the EOBC coalition do not have to identify themselves, even in ex partes, but French did, though he did not mention other "auction eligible" stations who apparently share his interest in auction changes.

The letter from French comes only days before the FCC is to hold its first incentive auction road show seminar Feb. 9, with New York area sessions scheduled for Feb. 11, 12, and 13.

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