Study: No Free Spectrum for US TV Broadcasters reports that allegations by Consumer Electronics Association President-CEO Gary Shapiro — and other leading broadcast industry critics — that broadcasters got their spectrum for free just don’t stand up to scrutiny, according to a study released today.

In fact, 92% of TV stations have been bought and sold since they were first licensed in transactions valued at more than $50 billion, a figure that includes the market value of broadcast licenses, the study says.

“Broadcasters can hardly be said to be receiving a ‘windfall’ from their spectrum licenses just because the checks they wrote to pay for those licenses were made out to private companies, rather than to ‘Uncle Sam,’ ” said the study by Jeffrey Eisenach, managing director of Navigant Economics, and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute think tank and former executive director of the Republican GOPAC training organization.

Eisenach’s study, sponsored and released by the National Association of Broadcasters, also said that broadcast competitors, including the DirecTV and Dish Network satellite TV companies, had received spectrum licenses without directly compensating the government.


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