MIAMI, FL — South Florida PBS (WPBT2-WXEL) – announces the sale of part of its broadcast spectrum (6 Megahertz/MHz) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a one-time transaction. South Florida PBS will receive approximately $4.7 million from the spectrum auction. The proceeds will be used to strengthen South Florida PBS’s education mission and excellence in public broadcasting programming and pay, in part, the station’s debt incurred as a result of the merger of South Florida’s two leading public broadcasting stations, which created South Florida PBS, Florida’s largest public media serving the seventh largest market in the United States.
“The proceeds from the spectrum auction will help ensure the preservation and long-term financial health of South Florida PBS,” said South Florida PBS CEO Dolores Sukhdeo. “While the revenue provided needed financial assistance, the continued support of members, donors, underwriters and state and federal funding will be absolutely critical to both stations, WPBT2 and WXEL’s ongoing operations—just as it always has been—especially at a time when we are striving to bring more local and cultural content to viewers where they are watching—across screens and devices.”
At a time when consumer demand for wireless services is growing, the broadcast spectrum will help the country address its growing need for additional mobile services, which are currently being hampered by the nation’s spectrum shortage. Earlier this year, the FCC announced that it would be purchasing broadcast spectrum from broadcasters through a voluntary reverse auction, and then, selling the purchased spectrum to wireless providers.
“We believe strongly that universal, free over-the-air access to public television is part of our mandate from the government and the American people,” said Sukhdeo. “South Florida PBS remains committed to its education mission and excellence in public broadcasting programming for communities, reaching from Key West in the south to the Sebastian Inlet in the north, and from the Atlantic Ocean west to Lake Okeechobee. We estimate that less than 1 % of our viewership will be affected by the spectrum auction and we are actively working with them and all relevant partner organizations to ensure that any local solution includes continued access. Currently, there are many variables in the auction that remain unclear. However, preserving universal service remains our central goal, and we will provide up-to-date information as details solidify.”
For more information, please visit http://www.southfloridapbs.org under News.
About South Florida PBS
South Florida PBS, Florida’s largest public media company, connects organizations and institutions across our region and preserves South Florida's history. Leading the way in this global society, SOUTH FLORIDA PBS serves diverse communities from Key West to the Sebastian Inlet and from the Atlantic Ocean west to Lake Okeechobee. SOUTH FLORIDA PBS is committed to creating and presenting unique arts, education and cultural heritage programming, and serves as a model for telling unique local stories across a wide variety of media platforms.