The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

Too Much Money for Too Little Promise

As an owner of a small group of stations, I am not sure I want to draw attention to myself and my licenses, but as background, I will tell you that I have been on the air for almost 40 years. I have owned my own stations for more than 20 years, and I am a two-time past president of our state broadcaster’s association.

The Cost is Too High

Ron Schacht’s editorial echoes several of my concerns with this whole C-Band dish issue. I have one 3.8 meter Comtech dish out back, that drives several receivers, and at this point, I am not planning to spend the $435.00 to register the dish, nor the $1200.00, plus or minus, for the frequency coordination. I have discussed this with my lawyer, and with a couple of NAB rep’s, and I cannot figure out what I am getting for the money that they are asking me to spend.

The following is a copy & paste of my thoughts in an e-mail conversation with my broadcast lawyer…

“The $435 is a filing fee. It does not license my receive dish. It does not guarantee any rights or protections… nor does the frequency coordination.

I think it is disingenuous for the FCC to ask for information, and then put up a monetary impediment to my providing that information. I would gladly send them the information – it is not a secret dish – but I am not willing to pay them to take the information, especially with no guarantee for protection to follow it up.

There Will be Big Money in the FCC’s Pocket

(NAB rep) estimated 25 thousand dishes could be registered… times $435 is over $10 million dollars, and I am frustrated that the FCC is encouraging the industry to send that kind of money to the Treasury for no reason, no return, no promise, no kiss at the end of the night.

We could apply the same logic to AM revitalization. Let us register all the whip antennas on all the vehicles so we know how many are out there, and then we will “protect” them from interference.

At the end of the day, this will all be decided well above my pay grade.

The satellite owners are licensed to operate in those frequencies. If they choose to sell off portions of those frequencies, it affects their business models, but maybe they make enough money off the sale to not care, and take the buyout, which is not affected by my $435 dollars.

Streaming Does Not Replace Satellite

All of the programming providers who distribute through those satellites will have to find another way to reliably distribute their services – in my case, three music formats, CBS News, NBC Sports, and three sports networks. Streaming is not reliable enough for longform live programming, and nobody is singing the praises of KU band.

Maybe 5G will become the distribution means. If C-Band is screwed, so are these guys, and registration of my dish will not matter, because they will have to find a different way for their customers to get their product.”

Food for thought.