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Full-Power TV Station Numbers Remain Steady

The FCC this week released the latest Broadcast Station Totals as of Sept. 30, 2012. Tracking the changes from Sept. 30, 2011, the number of full-power broadcast TV stations remained unchanged, as a new VHF commercial TV license replaced a dropped UHF educational TV license.

Compared with the last quarter, the number of full-power TV stations has dropped by one, due to two new VHF commercial licenses being issued, two fewer UHF commercial stations on the air, and the deleted UHF educational license cited above.

Given the FCC's push to reclassify some Class A TV stations to low-power status after they failed to meet FCC Class A reporting requirements, it isn't surprising the number of Class A stations dropped more than five percent, from 492 to 465, during the past year, with most of that drop in the last quarter. The number of UHF and VHF TV translators also dropped from a total of 4,273 last September to 4,175 this year.

The number of AM radio licenses dropped by 18 to 4,745, while the number of FM commercial stations increased by 53, to 6,580. The number of FM educational stations increased by more than six percent, to 3,803.

The FCC Media Bureau's Audio Division maintains an index page linking to Broadcast Station Totals--1990 to Present.