Stations Signing Off

Will niche channels – and broadcast diversity — get squeezed off the air as a result of the recent FCC spectrum auction?

Case in point: Viewers in New York and Chicago are losing access to MHz Worldview, the ad-free international channel, as local affiliate stations take their auction money and close down.  

Saturday’s closure of New York’s WNYJ, however, meant the loss not only of MHz Worldview on channel 66.2, but also of CNC World, an English-language news channel out of China, on channel 66.1.

While MHz Worldview still has a bunch of over-the-air outlets nationwide, the New York shutdown leaves CNC World with just two stations at present: channel 30.8 in Washington, DC, and channel 43.2 in Bridgeport, CT. 

Chicago’s WYCC isn’t scheduled to leave the air until November 27. But its shutdown will mean the loss not only of MHz Worldview on channels 20.1 and 20.3, but also of FNX: First Nations Experience on channel 20.2. FNX, the public TV channel “exclusively devoted to Native American and World Indigenous programming,” is available over-the-air in only one other major market – Los Angeles — and also in Fairbanks, AK, and several other areas.

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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