How Many New LPFMs Might There Be?

How many low-power FM channels will be available in each market?

We’ve reported the FCC needs to make several decisions first before LPFM channel availability becomes clear.

In the meantime, Prometheus posts a best guess, including perhaps three in New York City, seven in Los Angeles and a total of some 95 in the top 10 markets.

Prometheus derived the data from the FCC’s LPFM availability software. Markets include the top 150 Arbitron metro markets as well as a few others.

Available channels include both “fully-spaced” channels and “short-spaced” channels, which will require a special waiver of the rules. These numbers do consider the FCC’s recent decision to dismiss translator applications in certain parts of select markets.

Broadcasters have protested those dismissals.

NPR Labs, too, crunched the FCC’s data, saying the program the agency provided listed only the quantity of available channels by radio market, and not the actual channel numbers or available site areas. The worksheet summarizes the results by market, and compares the results of the FCC’s table in the Further Notice to the Lab  results. Some discrepancies may be due to changes in the engineering database used for each study, while other unresolved discrepancies appear to be due to program errors, cautions the Labs.


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Austin Airwaves predicts that nationwide there will be as many as 10,000 apps for new LPFM licenses. When asked if he felt this number was a good guestimate an FCC source said, “We never know what a particular demand will be until we open a window. We have stopped conjecturing about how many applications there may be. It depends in part on supply and demand, availability of [more]...
By Jim Ellinger on 10/15/2012

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