Updated 2:03 p.m. Monday
The FCC released results of the spectrum auction Thursday. Here are the results for noncommercial broadcasters, according to Current’s review of the commission’s data.
So far, it appears that a minimum of $1.9 billion in deals were made with the 34 stations we’ve identified as belonging to noncommercial educational licensees. By way of comparison, the entire public media system, including stations and national organizations, brought in an estimated $3.55 billion in fiscal year 2015, according to CPB.
An additional $103 million in two deals are not accounted for — the proceeds for WYCC in Chicago and KMTP in San Francisco. While all of that money could go to the licensees, they could be entering into channel-sharing agreements and sharing proceeds with another broadcaster.
Some dollar amounts listed are approximate; the FCC released exact figures, while stations announcing their shares of channel-sharing proceeds have been releasing rounded numbers.
When reviewing these results, note that a station’s signal going off the air does not necessarily mean that all of the broadcaster’s stations are going dark. In some cases, little disruption to viewer reception is expected. However, some are signing off altogether.
Here’s what else we learned Thursday:
- WYBE in Philadelphia and one of the three signals operated by KQED in San Francisco will go off the air. KQED’s two other signals will largely cover the vacated area.
- Channel-sharing agreements will bring winnings to KOCE and KLCS in Los Angeles and WLVT in Bethlehem, Pa. Several others had already been announced.
- Several stations announced moves to VHF spectrum that will bring them earnings. Others are moving signals from vacated spectrum to share space with other stations in their networks.
Catch up on what stations have been saying so far about their deals, and read our coverage to date of the auction. We’ll be updating this information as we learn more. Please contact me if you know anything we don’t or have any comments or questions.
12:11 p.m.: South Florida PBS tells Current that it is vacating WXEL’s spectrum by sharing the channel’s airwaves with another of its stations, WPBT2.
12:34 p.m.: According to the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, “WNJB and WNJN will share the broadcast spectrum previously associated only with WNJB. Similarly, WNJT and WNJS will share the broadcast spectrum previously associated only with WNJS.”
1:28 p.m.: Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network will keep its station WEDY on the air by an internal channel-sharing arrangement with its own WEDW. It had previously indicated it would sell WEDW in a deal with spectrum speculator LocusPoint, but that apparently did not pan out. In addition, CPBN had announced in February that it planned to receive $32.6 million from the auction. It instead received $18.9 million.
12:56 p.m.: KCETLink and KLCS, both in Los Angeles, will split the $130 million for KLCS’s spectrum, each bringing in $62 million after technical costs. The two had agreed to channel-share in 2014; one estimate put the deal at $32 million.
9:45 p.m.: The University of California San Diego will stop over-the-air broadcasting of UCSD-TV, a channel of locally produced educational programming. It will earn $24 million from the sale.
“The funds that UC San Diego received from its participation in the auction will be reinvested to enhance our academic programs and our community outreach,” said Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of UC San Diego Extension, which manages UCTV. “UCSD-TV will continue full operation and delivery of its programming throughout San Diego over Cox Communications and Spectrum Cable and the vast majority of the viewers will be able to enjoy UCSD-TV’s award-winning programming both through cable and online.” Many of the station’s videos are already available on its website.
The sale will not affect any jobs or the operation of the station, according to Walshok.
2:03 p.m.: Blue Ridge PBS in Roanoke, Va., will use the $5.8 million it reaped in the auction to support local programming and capital improvements, President James Baum told Current Monday. In addition, WYBE in Philadelphia confirmed in a press release that it will cease over-the-air, cable and satellite broadcasting, but parent nonprofit Independence Media will continue operations.
Public broadcasters’ participation in the FCC spectrum auction
|Station affected||City||State||Licensee||Effect on broadcast signal||Total proceeds||Proceeds for pubcaster||Date announced|
|WSBN||Tri-Cities||TN||Blue Ridge Public Television, Inc.||Unknown||597,793||597,793||4/13/17|
|WXEL||West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce||FL||South Florida PBS, Inc.||Merge into other station spectrum||4,696,299||4,696,299||4/13/17|
|WMSY||Tri-Cities||TN||Blue Ridge Public Television, Inc.||Unknown||5,243,122||5,243,122||4/13/17|
|WJSP||Columbus||GA||Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission||Move to Low-VHF||7,267,147||7,267,147||4/13/17|
|WPBO||Charleston-Huntington||WV||Ohio State University||Go off-air||8,822,670||8,822,670||2/10/17|
|WQED||Pittsburgh||PA||WQED Multimedia||Move to Low-VHF||9,853,782||9,853,782||2/9/17|
|WNGH||Chattanooga||TN||Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission||Move to Low-VHF||11,949,966||11,949,966||2/8/17|
|WCMZ||Flint||MI||Central Michigan University||Go off-air||14,163,505||14,163,505||3/30/17|
|WOUC||Columbus||OH||Ohio University||Move to Low-VHF||18,412,349||18,412,349||3/30/17|
|WUSF||Tampa-St Petersburg-Sarasota||FL||University of South Florida||Go off-air||18,754,503||18,754,503||4/13/17|
|WEDY||Hartford-New Haven||CT||Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc.||Merge into other station spectrum||18,900,229||18,900,229||4/13/17|
|K35DG-D||San Diego||CA||Regents of the University of California||Unknown||24,020,383||24,020,383||3/3/17|
|WVIA||Pittston||PA||Northeastern Pennsylvania Educational Tel.A'ssn||Channel-share||51,934,668||25,900,000||2/17/17|
|WRET||Greenville-Spartanburg||SC||South Carolina Educational TV Commission||Merge into other station spectrum||43,162,610||40,000,000||4/13/17|
|KOCE||Los Angeles||CA||KOCE-TV Foundation||Channel-share||138,003,711||49,000,000||4/13/17|
|WVTA||Burlington||VT||Vermont ETV, Inc.||Go off-air||56,648,952||56,648,952||2/17/17|
|WGBY||Springfield-Holyoke||MA||WGBH Educational Foundation||Move to High-VHF||57,043,939||57,043,939||4/13/17|
|WNVT||Washington||DC||Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp.||Go off-air||57,154,459||57,154,459||4/13/17|
|KLCS||Los Angeles||CA||Los Angeles Unified School District||Channel-share (with KCET)||130,510,880||62,000,000||4/13/17|
|KCET||Los Angeles||CA||KCETLink||Channel-share (with KLCS)||0||62,000,000||4/13/17|
|KRCB||Rohnert Park||CA||Rural California Broadcasting Corp.||Move to Low-VHF||71,979,802||71,979,802||4/13/17|
|WLVT||Philadelphia||PA||Lehigh Valley Public Telecommunications Corp.||Channel-share||121,752,169||82,000,000||4/13/17|
|WMVT||Milwaukee||WI||Milwaukee Area Technical College District Board||Merge into other station spectrum||84,931,314||84,931,314||4/13/17|
|WSBE||Providence||RI||Rhode Island PBS Foundation||Move to Low-VHF||94,480,615||94,480,615||4/13/17|
|KQEH||San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose||CA||KQED Inc.||Go off-air||95,459,109||95,459,109||2/13/17|
|WNVC||Washington||DC||Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp.||Go off-air||124,801,961||124,801,961||2/27/17|
|WYBE||Philadelphia||PA||Independence Public Media of Philadelphia, Inc.||Go off-air||131,578,104||131,578,104||4/13/17|
|WNJT||Philadelphia||PA||New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority||Merge into other station spectrum (WNJS)||138,059,363||138,059,363||2/9/17|
|KVCR||San Bernardino||CA||San Bernardino Community College District||Move to Low-VHF||157,113,171||157,113,171||4/13/17|
|WGBH||Boston||MA||WGBH Educational Foundation||Move to Low-VHF||161,723,929||161,723,929||4/13/17|
|WNJN||New York||NY||New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority||Merge into other station spectrum (WNJB)||193,892,273||193,892,273||4/13/17|
|WHUT||Washington||DC||Howard University||Withdrew from auction||0||0||4/13/17|
|WYCC||Chicago||IL||Board of Trustees of Community College District #508, Cook County||Unknown||15,959,957||4/13/17|
|KMTP||San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose||CA||Minority Television Project Inc.||Unknown||87,824,258||Unknown||2/16/17|