The FCC announced on October 30th a displacement application filing window for low power TV (LPTV), TV translators, and digital replacement translator stations displaced by the incentive auction and repacking process. Three San Diego TV broadcasters made mutually exclusive applications and are caught up in the fight for channel 25. KSDY (ICN, channel 50) and KDTF-LD (Entravision, channel 51), both now operating from Mt. San Miguel, are seeking to operate on channel 25 after repacking. KHAX-LP (Entravision, channel 49, Vista) is also listed, but Entravision can resolve that application by stipulating it could accept interference from its own transmissions in its isolated coverage area. KHAX-LP was granted a Special Temporary Authority (“STA”) in late October to operate on channel 21, which its Mexican sister station XHDTV Tecate is expected to move to from channel 47. Both XHDTV and KHAX in the past operated on channel 49.
Upper UHF stations in San Diego have received letters from T-Mobile stating they may begin operations on the upper UHF channels at the end of November 2018. Not only do the LPTV’s have to resolve the MX claim, but in many cases they must file STA applications for operation on a temporary channel, then must order and install the equipment before the end of November or go off the air.
Mutually exclusive applications can be settled a number of ways. One station could file for operation on another channel. The stations could agree to share a single physical channel. Or one station could pay the other’s legal and engineering expenses and have that station go off the air. Stations are not allowed to sell for a speculated value exceeding accrued costs.
The MX settlement window opened October 30 and will close January 10, 2019. If stations can’t resolve their mutually exclusive applications through a technical settlement, the FCC will force an auction for the channel.