Multicasting Growth Stalls


Staff member
"If there's an elephant in the room this winter as the FCC considers how to repurpose more than 100 MHz of digital broadcast spectrum for other services as part of a national broadband plan, it could be the relative dearth of multicast channels among commercial broadcasters more than a year-and-a-half into the digital transition."

Multicasting Stalls, by John Merli


Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
I saw the article earlier and I'm puzzled by its numbers. I wrote a quick script to pull numbers out of my database and got this result:

393 NCE stations have 1290 subs.
1379 commercial stations have 2927 subs.
320 LP/CA stations have 621 subs.

I excluded stations which were translating other stations as per my database.

- Trip
Last edited:


Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
So, they're disappointed by the lack of multicasting on subs? I'm disappointed also, but the digital transition was only about a year ago. I understand that, why don't they get it? In a poor economy, how fast CAN multicasting grow? In my area, there are only 3 channels out of 12 that aren't multicasting - 2 are LP, and one is independent. Some channels are limited to 2 channels if the want the best quality HD on their primary channel.

I really think the FCC just wants to make some noise about broadcasters "wasting" spectrum:
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said in remarks earmarked for a broadband planning meeting in November that "it's no secret I have been disappointed that so much of the spectrum dividend that accrued to broadcasters as a result of the DTV transition goes dramatically under-utilized. I am not interested in pushing broadcasters somewhere else… but public interest multicasting remains, all too often, a concept—not a reality," Copps wrote.
Give 'em some time to realize the potential.