WGBH, WHDH make out big in spectrum auction

WGBH won $218.7 million and WHDH $162.1 million, in a federal auction in which they agreed to move or shut down their on-air frequencies so that wireless providers can get more bandwidth.

WGBH's money comes from its decision to move both WGBH and WGBY in Springfield to different frequencies. WHDH owner Ed Ansin will take his money for just shutting down Channel 56's current frequency - although WLVI will live on in a "channel share" arrangement with WHDH.

Also making out big: Stations in Worcester and Vineyard Haven.

Across the country, 175 TV stations will share in $10 billion in bids by wireless providers for their frequencies, the FCC, which organized the auction, reports.

Complete auction results.

Via Garrett Wollman.

Neighborhoods: 

    Topics: 

    Free tagging: 

    Comments

    No more Boch

    By on

    Maybe this will give them enough money so they don't have to run clips of Ernie Boch Jr. 'jamming' between shows.

    up
    Voting is closed. 29

    Or mailings...

    By on

    First, it was WBUR with their incessant e-mails during their 2014 Fall Fundraiser, expecting me to drop everything and donate!

    Today, WGBH sends a mailing at least once every two to three weeks! Speaking of which, does it seem odd that every year, WGBH sends a mailing asking members for money to help them balance their budget at the end of every year?

    I decided two years ago to become a member of a small public radio station that I listen to online, because their signal doesn't reach Boston. Their membership actually costs more than what WGBH and WBUR want for theirs. How often do I receive mailings from this other station? At most, twice a year.

    up
    Voting is closed. 8

    Looking for InfoGraphic to the Boston AM-FM-HD radio dial...

    By on

    Looking for the best guide to the Boston AM-FM-HD Hybridized Digital-analog radio dial... an InfoGraphic type view of every Boston station available along the dial for referencing while tuning along the dial from station to station, from kHz to kHz, from MHz to MHz, from HD-1 to HD-2 to HD-3.

    up
    Voting is closed. 8

    bostonradio.org

    The bostonradio.org site has been around forever and is the best resource for technical and historical information on Boston area broadcasting.

    up
    Voting is closed. 14

    How does this affect the Suze Orman fundraisers?

    By on

    This ranks with the Koch Brothers sponsorship, Ernie Boch's mediocre strumming, and Suze Orman infomercials in the WGBH Hypocrisy Derby.

    A few years ago, the back of the house staff at WGBH were in a bitter labor dispute with toffs who run the place. It was that weekend that WGBH chose to run hours extolling Pete Seeger's labor work. When I called the "donation" number to describe my cognitive dissonance, I got connected to a person in a call center in Tennessee. They had outsourced the call center work.

    up
    Voting is closed. 18

    Bad news for antenna users

    By on

    The move of WGBH from a UHF frequency to a VHF frequency is a bad move for OTA (over the air) viewers. Most modern TV antennas including the popular flat antennas (like the mohu leaf) are made specifically for UHF frequencies and have much worse performance with VHF channels. WHDH after the digital conversion briefly tried to move back to it's original channel 7 VHF frequency but abandoned the switch after it made it significantly more difficult to tune it in OTA and ended up sticking on channel 42 with PSIP to channel to 7.1.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090621083323/http://www1.whdh.com/news/arti...

    up
    Voting is closed. 24

    Agreed, the VHF channels are

    By on

    Agreed, the VHF channels are horrible today. What were they thinking?

    up
    Voting is closed. 18

    Public Interest

    They were thinking the public would be better served by improved 2 way wireless data then spectrum hogging terrestrial channels that relatively few watch.

    I don't agree with much of what the FCC does but the idea of re-allocating valuable spectrum is a good idea. Rather 100 people have faster cellular data connections then one person not lose their TV reception.

    What the FCC should do is impart far greater restrictions on the new spectrum owners, such as price caps and privacy requirements. But hanging on to prime broadcast TV frequencies for a relatively few remaining viewers is foolish.

    up
    Voting is closed. 16

    The low VHF range is

    By on

    The low VHF range is particularly problematic in urban areas for digital TV. Why not put WGBH on channel 18 once WMFP goes off the air?

    up
    Voting is closed. 9

    The channel number has

    By on

    The channel number has nothing to do with the frequency. With digital broadcast, channel numbers are virtual, and can be assigned to any frequency.

    up
    Voting is closed. 10

    What is "channel sharing"?

    By on

    What is "channel sharing"? What's the tradeoff?

    Are they cramming more channels into a frequency band by reducing the signal quality? Or are they getting rid of subchannels that had other content?

    up
    Voting is closed. 7

    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong ...

    By on

    But one of the advantages of moving from analog to video was that you could fit more "channels" onto a single channel space for over-the-air stuff. So instead of just Channel 5, say, you now have Channel 5.1 (WCVB) and Channel 5.2 (MeTV). This is all invisible to you if you have cable, but if you don't and are looking at stuff with an antenna with a modern TV, you'll have more "channels" available to you know then back when everything was broadcast in analog. So WLVI will stop being its own station and become one of these sort of sub-channels off 7.

    up
    Voting is closed. 8

    Correct

    By on

    Except its "analog to digital" (not video)

    But yeah.. WLVI will just become a digital sub, along with its digital sub (BUZZR on 56.2

    They could even PSIP back to the old number after the switch.

    up
    Voting is closed. 7

    This blows

    By on

    This absolutely blows for cord cutters and people in rural areas.

    I'm a cord cutter, and I watch a ton of OTA TV. It suits most of my needs. I'm lucky that I get every station alright, even the ones who are using VHF frequencies.

    I have a TERK antenna, which has both VHF and UHF Antennas (it was designed pre-2009 cut over so it does both HD and analog). I may have to go back to using the rabbit ears portion again (VHF). Ugh.

    I'm looking over this list (the PDF) and kinda shocked that many stations will just go 'off the air' and were willing to take a HUUUUGE payout for their licensed and frequency. Many of the stations that will just go 'off the air' are in rural areas (usually UHF stations). Many of these stations have no other alternative if you don't have cable or satellite TV. And yes I know, many of these 'off the air' stations will just team up elsewhere and use other towers, but many will not. Many just took the $ and ran and shut down their station (such as WBIN did)

    My Dad lives very close to WNNE 's tower on Ascutney Mountain (Vermont) in New Hampshire. WNNE is the *ONLY* station besides WVTA (Vermont PBS) he can get with an antenna. Now, his part of the state will have *zero* TV stations they can get OTA. (WMUR's Lebanon NH Transmitter is just too far away to get a signal)

    I understand that WNNE hasn't been its own station since the early 1990s and it's essentially a satellite of WPTZ out of Burlington. But still, it served a purpose.

    Lots of other stations will follow suit and just go dark. Leaving vast swaths of area with no OTA TV coverage. Pretty much forcing people into cable or satellite packages to get OTA TV stations now. People forget that sure Digital TV was a great way to improve the quality of the picture (in terms of static-y video on analog stations) but the range just isn't there. For example, before DTV, my dad *could* get WMUR out of Manchester (using its tower on Mt Washington) but after DTV, not any more! Its just not strong enough.

    Locally... We're going to lose WMFP. While the main channel(s) have junky programming and probably won't be missed. But remember "NBC Boston" leases a digital sub (60.5) from WMFP to provide better coverage in Boston. Once WMFP goes dark.. makes me wonder if NBC Boston will not bother to team up with another station with a tower to backfill the coverage lost that WBTS itself (as Ch 8.1) cannot provide, that the lease to WMFP did.

    I'm just not to sure how I feel about that... I understand that wireless companies need more spectrum to provide services, but at the lost of TV signals?

    From my knowledge of the subject, the wireless companies need to start to recycle some of their older and lesser used frequencies. Many of the older 1G and 2G frequencies have so few customers on them, they could very easily re-purpose those for "5G". And many of those older frequencies (nice, low band, high range frequencies) would work well for this purpose.

    And it also does not help that the carriers themselves (mostly Verizon and AT&T) purchased large blocks of frequencies that they do not use. The FCC should REQUIRE them to either give up those frequencies or use them before allowing them to purchase more. The wireless carriers just buy the frequencies up under the notion of "future expansion" but they more so buy them up to block other carriers (i.e. Sprint or T-Mobile) from buying them up to provide equal or similar coverage as the big boys.

    Its a disturbing trend.. oh well, expect to see more of this. Who cares about "common good"? Not when we can charge for a service and make bucks off it up *smh*

    (And yeah, I'm remotely happy that my wireless carrier purchased alot of this new spectrum, which means better service for me.. but still at what cost)

    up
    Voting is closed. 11