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LPTV - The Wind is Finally at our Back

If any of you are sailors, you know what it feels like to sail into the wind. As a native of the northwest and sailor in the Puget Sound of Seattle, I can tell you that hot afternoons in the summer often have strong winds out of the north. In addition to the strong headwinds, tides and currents do not always cooperate for sailing. Even if you trim the sails perfectly, and execute “close haul” tacks into the wind, it is just very difficult for the boat to make headway. You can spend significant amounts of the day tacking back and forth across the water – but not making progress.

Similarly, LPTV has not been making much headway under the past two FCC administrations led by Julius Genachowski and Tom Wheeler. They quite frankly did not appear to be that interested in the future of the broadcast industry. Their focus was on the big U.S. wireless operators, wireless auctions and then multi-year planning for the very complicated VIA with Forward/Reverse bids.

At Edge Spectrum Inc., we believe the broadcast industry has changed course and we have the wind at our back now. It will be much easier to run downwind with full sails to show meaningful progress and measure distance traveled:

  1. New FCC Commissioner Pai appears committed to ensuring the Broadcasting industry thrives and prospers. The FCC issued a new NPRM for ATSC 3.0 - to be completed in 2017. This is the opportunity to make broadcasters relevant in the fast-changing technological world,

  2. Conclusion of the Voluntary Incentive Auction has resulted in the available TV channels being reduced by about one third, which will increase TV band scarcity,

  3. FPTV broadcasters face the dilemma of transitioning to ATSC 3.0 when there are not spare companion channels allocated to maintain their legacy ATSC 1.0 advertising businesses,

  4. More channel sharing arrangements and business agreements will evolve, such as “The Lighthouse” in an earlier blog, and,

  5. The FCC is liberalizing foreign ownership rules, which were previously capped at 25%.This could also be favorable for LPTV.

Contact us at ESI. We would be delighted to hear from you. We are very upbeat about the opportunities ahead for the broadcasting industry as we transition to ATSC 3.0.


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