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53 Stations (So Far) Ask for New DTV Channels

Last week I reported on the large number of applications filed in the period between the lifting of the FCC freeze on DTV coverage expansion and the June 20 cut-off date. In the CDBS files updated July 2, 53 petitions for rulemaking were filed by stations requesting a new DTV channel. More channel change requests may have been filed but not yet made it into CDBS.

The FCC is moving quickly to process the petitions. Wednesday, three notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) were released for filings the FCC said warranted consideration.

LeSEA Broadcasting of Denver’s request to move KWHD-DT to channel 45 is covered in the NPRM in Docket 08-106, RM-11447. KWHD-DT requested the change to allow it to maximize. It was unable to maximize on Channel 46 because of predicted interference to Class A TV station KSBS-LP on Channel 47 in Denver.

The FCC issued an NPRM in Docket 08-102 RM-11439 for another LeSEA petition. This one requested substitution of DTV Channel 46 for WHME-DT’s Channel 48 in South Bend, Ind. The move allows WHME-DT to increase its interference-free service and provide a DTV signal to 546,558 people. On Channel 48, WHME-DT was unable to maximize due to interference to WAQP-DT and WBME-DT, both on Channel 48.

Louisiana Educational Television Authority (LETA) filed a petition requesting DTV Channel 24 for KLTS-DT instead of its allotted DTV Channel 25 in Shreveport, La. The FCC NPRM in Docket 08-118 RM-11455 says LETA requested the channel change to allow it to use its topmounted analog antenna, which is on Channel 24. The NPRM notes, “If Channel 24 is substituted for digital Channel 25, LETA will be able to use the topmount antenna currently used for its analog station, thus avoiding the costs and logistical challenge of replacing this antenna with a new antenna.”

Based on the number of entries in CDBS, I expect to see many more NPRMs released soon. The deadline for filing comments is 30 days after publication in the Federal Register with reply comments due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. For a listing of all of the requested channel changes, download the file containing the dt20080702.xls spreadsheet. Use your spreadsheet’s auto-filter feature to show only file prefix BPRM and look for applications with file numbers beginning with 200806.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.