Advanced Television

CBA wins studio and political support

June 11, 2019

By Chris Forrester

Many of Hollywood’s major studios and broadcasters have come out firmly in support of the C-Band Alliance’s (CBA) plan for a restructuring of its C-band spectrum over the US.

The ‘Content Companies’ have written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saying that CBS, Discovery, Disney, Fox, Viacom and Univision, are giving the CBA their support. They explain how dependent they are on C-band for distributing their TV signals.

Their letter says that on one day last month, ESPN alone had 143 separate C-band feeds in the production of content.

In its letter to the FCC, the Content Companies emphasised the importance of the C-band to uninterrupted delivery of video programming: “While fiber and other technologies play a role in distribution, these are complements, not substitutes, to the C-band. For example, ESPN uses both fiber and C-band downlinks in the production and delivery of content, but it is the C-band downlinks that ensure delivery of programming to all affiliates and other distributors. No other distribution method matches the C-band in ubiquity and reliability. The Content Companies and other programmers thus rely on the C-band as the principal means of delivering video to the many thousands of earth stations in the United States.”

“With this in mind, the Content Companies pointed out that of the plans in the record for reallocation of C-band spectrum, only that of the CBA gives serious attention to how the Commission could preserve reliable video delivery over the C-band,” the letter added

Separately, the influential The Hill publication argues “Let the C-Band Alliance sell them some [spectrum]”. The publication says: “There’s not much time left for the US to take decisive steps toward winning the race to 5G. Approving the CBA proposal is the fastest way to get services developed in the US, keep the US on track to be a world leader in 5G, and heighten competition between wireless, cable, and fiber broadband services.”

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