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Friday, October 16, 2015

Will Houston TV stations take money to go off the air permanently?

FCC is willing to pay TV stations millions to go off the air or move channels

Our thirst for mobile data might trump our desire for local television signals. Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced its long awaited local TV station opening incentive auction bid prices.

There are so many devices, like the smartphone in your pocket, that need lots of signal to quench our thirst for wireless internet. Therefore the FCC wants to use parts of the signals television stations use to broadcast to your TV antenna. And the federal agency is willing to pay up for it with this auction.

So what does this mean for us TV viewers?

As reported in TVNewsCheck, there are three options:
- A station can relinquish its license (and sign off).
- A UHF station move to either a high or low VHF channel.
- A high VHF channel can move to low a VHF channel.
So for example, KPRC 2 could be paid $294,282,000 to go off the air! KTXH 20 could be paid $284,918,400! Those are some of the higher prices offered in Houston because those two stations have good channel placement.

No, there is no indication any Houston stations will take the money and run so to speak, but they might take the millions to move channels. Could this be why some TV station groups have been on big buying sprees lately?

Click here to see the full list of opening incentive auction bid prices for Houston, Texas and the rest of the nation.

TV stations have until mid-December to decide if they will participate.

TV Broadcasters Will One Day Be Kicked Off The Airwaves


  1. These are lofty numbers, especially for the lower rated stations. These are not actually bids, correct? If they are, I would think half the Houston stations on this list would take the money and run.

  2. Why is this story relevant at all if it will never happen. KTXH yes but it will NEVER happen to KPRC. Just stop already

    1. Yeah, this is an anxiety causing post for sure. Would rather not have it cross my newsfeed unless it was reporting something that is actually already happening.

  3. It's relevant because stations across the US will be considering the auction. Most likely to move, but some will sign off. I am just showing KPRC's number because it was the most valuable on the list.


  4. still curious if Fox will trade KRIV or KCPQ to tribune. Will Tribune have a Houston duology with KIAH. What keeps Fox later from moving it's programming to KTXH a few years later. Questions, questions, questions. Also, watching the Boston situation NBC 'could' move it's programming on to it's Telemundo houston outlet.

  5. Replies
    1. It's not the FEDS. It's the wireless companies trying to find a way to feed the public's insatiable need for bandwidth for all of the folks who are using more and more wireless devices. This is for the over-the-air-signals; it won't harm anyone getting their TV from cable or satellite, unless a station decides to go off altogether.

  6. I'm old so I have strong feelings about the public airwaves - i.e. they should not be for sale! That said, the stations themselves may have very little to say about it; parent companies may be too hungry for $ to ignore that kind of money. I would doubt Disney, Belo, Fox, etc; would allow a station to go dark but for that kind of money, hell yes, they may allow a move to a different channel. These days with so much cable I could see a move for that type of money. Disney alone could net over a billion with a "B" $ to move their channels so who knows? It could be interesting.

  7. I doubt it. It could cost people jobs.

    1. You think corporations care about people working? I thought I was naive.

  8. I am one of the people who get their TV over the air with an antenna. There are already more than 90 signals receivable in the Houston area through use of HD sidebands, leaving very little room for movement should stations decide to take the money and move to either another channel or become a sideband only station. There are already stations in smaller markets that have (for example) NBC on their main signal and ABC on their .2 signal. From what I can already see, sideband stations do not have the visual quality or signal strength to have a major network broadcast as clearly as they are now. Once again, big business (the wireless companies) are trampling the public in search of more revenue.

  9. Your local TV station may have just secretly decided to go off the air


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