Skip to main content

MSTV to Propose Channel Packing

The Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) has put together a plan designed to minimize interference when broadcasters pile into channels 2-51 as the digital transition comes to a close and the government reclaims channels 52-69. MSTV President David Donovan said the association expects to file the proposal with the FCC sometime next week.

The plan is the result of 18 months of calculations to determine some sort of orderly plan for the nation's nearly 1,600 full-power licensees to select their channel assignment without creating mass chaos. Around one-fourth of those stations either have no channel assignment in the 2-51 core, or are at risk of being disabled by interference. The MSTV board of directors approved the channel election plan at its meeting during NAB in Las Vegas.

"The proposal requires close industry/government cooperation throughout the process," and MSTV statement said. "A tremendous amount of preparatory work must be completed before channel elections can be made. For example, Canadian and Mexican interference issues must be resoleved in order for stations to provide strong signals throughout their markets. Other issues, such as verification of the FCC's database, must be resolved in the next few months to meet the plan's self-imposed deadlines."

Victor Tawil, MSTV senior vice president, said the challenges of carrying out channel selection would be especially acute in larger metropolitan areas.