Latest FCC Broadcast Station Totals Show Little Change

The FCC’s list of broadcast stations licensed as of March 31, 2013 showed little change overall. The number of Class A TV licenses has stabilized at 454 after dropping significantly from 515 on March 31, 2011. The move of TV licenses from UHF to VHF continued. Compared to the Dec. 31, 2012 totals, the number of UHF Class A TV licenses dropped by two while the number of VHF Class A TV licenses increased by two. The number of UHF Low Power TV (LPTV) licenses dropped by 23, which isn't surprising given the risk these stations face in the repacking, while the number of VHF LPTV licenses increased by six. Overall, there were 1,967 LPTV licenses, 17 less than on December 31, 2012 and 34 fewer than in March 2012.

The number of full power TV licenses was unchanged in the last quarter, although there was one less UHF commercial TV license and one more UHF educational TV license.

On the radio side, compared to Dec. 31, 2012, the number of low power FM licenses dropped by seven to 802, the number of FM translator licenses dropped by 22 to 6,053, and the number of full power FM commercial licenses increased by 5 to 6,603. Educational FM licenses increased to 3,917 from 3,860. There were two fewer AM licenses, dropping the AM license total to 4,736.

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.