Get Your First Round TV Channel Election Spreadsheets

February 22, 2005
FCC first round DTV channel elections were due Feb. 10 and the FCC Media Bureau has now made them available on its Consolidated Database System (CDBS). TV stations with at least one channel (analog or digital) in-core (channels 2 through 51) were required to electronically file Form 382. Form 382 gave broadcasters the option to pick one of their in core channels, pick a channel through a negotiated channel arrangement with other broadcasters, or return one or both --if both in-core channels were low-VHF--of their in core channels.

I've posted the spreadsheets in a ZIP file at These are based on FCC CDBS files dated Feb. 18, 2005.

The spreadsheet dtchelec.xls contains information from the Form 381 and Form 382 filings, so there will be two entries per stations. The columns are identified by the headings described in the Most should be self-explanatory.

The Form 382 channel election option is in column G with the channel elected shown in columns H and I, with the alternate channel in column J.

The channel options on Form 382 are:

  • Licensee/permittee makes the following channel election from its currently assigned (DTV or NTSC) channels.
  • Licensee/permitteee has entered into a Negotiated Channel Election Arrangement and, accordingly, makes the following channel election, subject to Commission approval:
  • Licensee/permittee makes no channel election; accordingly, licensee/permittee elects to participate in the second round of elections. This option may be selected only by licensees/permittees with only one in-core channel or with two low VHF channels (2-6)

For more information on Form 382 filings, see the Dec. 28, 2004 RF Report and the Feb. 1, 2005 RF Report.

The Form 381 coverage election is in column K and the letter corresponds to the selection options the form. The coverage options on Form 381 are:

  • Licensee/permittee hereby certifies that it will operate its post-transition DTV station at maximized facilities, as authorized by license or construction permit,
  • Licensee/permittee hereby certifies that it will operate its post-transition DTV station pursuant to a pending DTV application for maximization facilities that has not been authorized because of a pending international coordination issue.
  • Licensee/permittee hereby certifies that it will operate its post-transition DTV station based on its allotted replication facilities.
  • License/permittee hereby certifies that it does not have a DTV channel allotment, and will operate its post-transition DTV station based on its currently authorized NTSC license or construction permit.
  • Licensee/permittee hereby certifies that it will neither replicate nor maximize, and will operate its post-transition DTV station pursuant to the following authorized DTV facilities - License, Construction permit, or STA.

For more information on Form 381 filings, see the Nov. 8, 2004 RF Report

The spreadsheet containing the negotiated channel agreement, dtvagree.xls, may be a bit harder to decipher. Try using different data sort and data filter options to see what stations are involved in an agreement. In many, but not all, cases stations in a negotiated agreement have adjacent dtv_agreement_group numbers. Similarly, stations in a negotiated agreement should appear under the same application_id, but that too isn't always the case. Some of these inconsistencies may be due to the way I've extracted and combined the information in CDBS files dtv_transition.dat and dtv_agreement_group.dat with other files in CDBS.

If you have any questions about the spreadsheets or suggestions on other ways to present the data from the CDBS, please let me know by sending an e-mail to [email protected] . I'll be updating the files as more information becomes available.

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