New Jersey network could relinquish spectrum in upcoming FCC auction

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The New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, licensee of statewide public television network NJTV, announced this week that it has filed to participate in the FCC’s spectrum auction.

However, John Blair, authority executive director, said in the Jan. 12 statement that it “has no intention of exiting public television because we provide a valuable service for New Jersey TV viewers.”

The announcement said that cable and satellite reception across the state could still provide NJTV content to audiences.

NJTV consists of WNJB in New Brunswick, WNJN in Montclair, WNJS in Camden and WNJT in Trenton. The highest opening bid in the upcoming FCC spectrum auction is $775.7 million for WNJN.

NJTV is operated by WNET in New York City.

  • Mr Monte 24

    So NJTV has announced that it will “participate in the FCC’s spectrum auction”, and yet they maintain (Quote) “it has no intention of exiting public television because we provide a valuable service for New Jersey TV viewers.” – (?) Am I reading classic Pentagon’ese level doublespeak here?

    • Dru Sefton, Current

      Possibly not, Mr Monte 24. As the NJTV statement said, “Current digital broadcast technology and the widespread penetration of cable and satellite reception of television signals make it possible …” The first part of that sentence probably refers to channel sharing — with advances in technology, broadcasters can fit more content into less bandwidth. So two stations can split their spectrum, sell of spectrum to the FCC and still share a channel to keep broadcasting. The penetration of cable and satellite reception refers to how most viewers watch NJTV (and, nationwide, how the majority of the TV audience watches public television). Nationally, only about 15 percent of public TV’s viewers watch over the air. However, that includes a lot of low-income households, which are the exact targets that PBS especially wants to reach with its children’s educational programming. Hope that helps clarify the situation, and thanks for the comment.

      • Mr Monte 24

        I hope you observations are correct DS. I am familiar with the technical aspects of channel sharing and signal multiplexing. Worked with it as an RF-EE starting in the 70’s over the old analogue copper and 1st Gen HF circuits before we went to digital. Worked rather well albeit slower that today’s software driven applications and modes. Still a good windstorm or precipitation event will pixelate even the best DTV signal just 5-10 miles out from the transmitter. Pre-DTV Analog TV may have been slower and not as sharp in picture clarity however it could penetrate dense structures and building basements using a single indoor metal rod antenna. With DTV unless you’re within 5-8 miles from the transmitter you need an outdoor antenna for reception. It should be curious when they try to multiplex more data atop the signal. old TV signals did zld=-it was mainly analog freq shift based would also add that many retired successful people living in the suburbs watch Broadcast TV. As a Senior

        • Dru Sefton, Current

          You got that right about cord-cutting. My husband and I are trying to get there. He loves live sports, so that’s complicating matters.

  • Totally awesome report. NJTV is the successor of NJN.