According to newly released statistics by the FCC, the nation saw an addition of 609 broadcast stations added to its ranks during 2017, with 158 of them being low power FM stations. However, the repack auction has taken its toll. In 2016, an additional 1,365 stations were added, 55% more new broadcasters than in 2017.
The year saw the continuing decline of AM stations, losing 30 broadcasters. During 2016, the nation saw 15 struggling stations go off the air.
UHF commercial TV stations which gained two broadcasters in 2016, saw a marked decrease this year of 20 due to broadcasters selling their licenses in the repack auction.
Class A UHF stations also declined by 29 broadcasters as compared to 2016’s increase of 127 stations.
A total of 99 additional stations were represented by AM and FM translators and boosters, and TV translators.
Translator stations are primarily not new stations, but are stations that rebroadcast the signal of a broadcaster to provide service to areas in which direct reception is unsatisfactory due to distance or terrain barriers.
They may also be used by a radio station on either AM or FM to establish a presence on the other band.
Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations are authorized for noncommercial educational and public safety and transportation broadcasting only and operate with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 watts (0.1 kilowatts) or less, with maximum facilities of 100 watts ERP at 30 meters (100 feet) antenna height above average terrain. The approximate service range of a 100 watt LPFM station is 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles radius).
Total Broadcast Stations as of Dec. 31, 2017 compared to Dec. 31, 2016
|UHF COMMERCIAL TV||1013||(20)|
|VHF COMMERCIAL TV||364||14|
|UHF EDUCATIONAL TV||276||(13)|
|VHF EDUCATIONAL TV||105||9|
|CLASS A UHF STATIONS||364||(29)|
|CLASS A VHF STATIONS||27||3|
|FM TRANSLATORS & BOOSTERS||7585||132|
|UHF LOW POWER TV||1563||(35)|
|VHF LOW POWER TV||375||8|
|LOW POWER FM||2077||2,077||153|
|TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS||33,006||609|
Total Broadcast Stations as of Dec. 31, 2016 compared to Dec. 31, 2015
|UHF COMMERCIAL TV||1033||2|
|VHF COMMERCIAL TV||351||(5)|
|UHF EDUCATIONAL TV||289||0|
|VHF EDUCATIONAL TV||105||(1)|
|CLASS A UHF STATIONS||393||7|
|CLASS A VHF STATIONS||24||5|
|FM TRANSLATORS & BOOSTERS||7253||747|
|UHF LOW POWER TV||1600||127|
|VHF LOW POWER TV||366||17|
|LOW POWER FM||1678||1,678||245|
|TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS||32,397||1,365|