Sprint Nextel, ABC O&O's Reach Agreement on Spectrum Relocation
April 21, 2006
Sprint Nextel has successfully negotiated an agreement with the ABC Owned Television Stations Group to cover ABC O&O's expenses associated with the 2 GHz BAS relocation project currently underway. The deal creates a template Frequency Relocation Agreement (FRA) for each ABC-owned station and a Group Reimbursement Agreement (GRA), covering ABC's station group relocation-related expenses, in the spectrum relocation project. Under terms of the FCC's 800 MHz Order, 2 GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) licensees, which include the ABC-owned stations, must relocate to new spectrum assignments by September 2007. Sprint Nextel is responsible for reimbursing BAS licensees for the cost of relocating to comparable facilities within the 2 GHz spectrum band, including the cost of ABC's comparable equipment to operate in its new frequencies. BAS licensees use this spectrum to transmit local news from remote locations back to the studio. The ABC Owned Television Stations Group consists of 10 television stations, which together reach 24 percent of the nation's television households, according to the company. The stations include WABC-TV in New York; KABC-TV in Los Angeles; WLS-TV in Chicago; WPVI-TV in Philadelphia; KGO-TV in San Francisco; KTRK-TV in Houston; WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham; KFSN-TV in Fresno; WJRT-TV in Flint; and WTVG-TV in Toledo. The FCC has licensed Sprint Nextel to use a portion of the 2 GHz band for commercial mobile radio services upon relocation of the BAS licensees. Michael Degitz, vice president of spectrum management for Sprint Nextel said, "... ABC has again shown its leadership in the broadcast industry by being the first major broadcaster to reach agreement with Sprint Nextel on BAS relocation reimbursement. These agreements provide a model for other licensees to complete their own agreements according to the FCC's requirements."
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