1,000 TV Stations Will Need to Find New Channels ‘In Very Tight Time Frames’

By Chris Ariens 

The FCC’s spectrum auction has come to an end, as companies including T-Mobile, Dish and Comcast bid a total of $7.3 billion for airwaves for future growth. At the other end of the spectrum, TV stations, as many as 1,000 of them, which will have to look for new channels.

“NAB congratulates the Commission and its staff on bringing the TV auction to a successful conclusion. While today marks a major milestone, the work is far from over,” said NAB CEO Gordon Smith. “Now the FCC and the broadcast industry face the unprecedented task of moving almost a thousand TV stations — far more than originally anticipated — to new channels in very tight time frames.

TV station owners were paid $10.05 billion, including Sinclair, Fox, Gray and Tribune which brought in nearly $1 billion for selling their spectrum.


“NAB remains concerned about the impact of the auction on hundreds of radio stations co-located on television towers,” Gordon added. “We look forward to working with the FCC and Congress to develop a balanced approach to repacking that is fair to all stakeholders, most importantly our tens of millions of TV viewers and radio listeners.”

While some stations will look for new channels, others have already planned to go dark.