Home Login RADIO ONLINE RSS Facebook
Find Radio Online
AM FM HD

Advertisement

Alpha Ex Parte Filing Says Zonecasting Too Expensive


Alpha Media
Alpha Media

An ex parte was filed by Alpha Media with the FCC on Wednesday regarding the broadcaster's experience with early tests of the ZoneCasting system. In the ex parte, Alpha provided specific data on the significant costs associated with employing the technology, which led the comapny to conclude that "the substantial investment necessary to deploy ZoneCasting will be out of reach for most broadcasters, and simply out of the question for small and mid-sized broadcasters."

"Alpha has watched this proceeding with growing concern as GBS repeatedly miscasts ZoneCasting as a technology that would be especially helpful to smaller broadcasters," wrote President and Chief Executive Officer D. Robert Proffitt. Based upon Alpha's experience, "it is simply inconceivable that a smaller station, or stations serving smaller markets, would be able to afford to deploy ZoneCasting. Alpha believes that GBS's advocacy, which seeks to portray ZoneCasting as a means for smaller stations to better compete for advertising dollars, is nothing more than a hollow distraction and an empty promise -- one that GBS is attempting to use to drive a wedge between smaller and larger broadcasters."

Alpha says its input is based upon familiarity with the GBS technology in question. In 2016, GBS tested an earlier version of its ZoneCasting system at WIIL-FM that Alpha inherited from the previous owner. In connection with the WIIL test, GBS provided Alpha with estimates of the infrastructure costs needed to implement its technology. GBS determined that four boosters at four different sites were necessary to create a ZoneCasting "Zone" in downtown and northeast Milwaukee for purposes of the test.

The booster site locations included two building rooftops and two antenna tower/monopole structures (note that the cost figures below are in 2015 dollars). Here are the upfront costs for four booster sites (not including booster equipment) from Alpha:

Site acquisition $16,000.00
Equipment installation $32,000.00
FCC fees $3,000.00
Total Upfront Infrastructure Costs $51,000.00

Annual recurring expenses for four booster sites:
Rent/lease fees $48,000.00
Electricity $ 4,800.00
Telco/internet $ 6,400.00
Total Annual Recurring Costs $59,200.00

Alpha wrote that it remains "concerned" that allowing ZoneCasting will cause unavoidable interference, reduce the quality of the listener experience and threaten radio stations' advertising rates and revenues. For example, the company wrote that obtaining a site on top of a well-located building is "often very expensive," and purchasing land on which to install an antenna structure and transmitter enclosure can be even more costly.

Alpha also assured the Commission that renting a site for an FM booster (or an FM translator or similar transmitting facility) is often much higher than the $12,000 per booster per year quoted above, in part because local zoning regulations restrict the locations of broadcast transmitting facilities and antennas, limiting availability.

Additionally, the company wrote that if a radio station were to implement the same system used for the WIIL test, the cost for a single booster would range from $28,440.00 for the lowest-power booster used to more than $32,440.00 for the highest-power booster. The published information from a major vendor on which Alpha bases these figures estimates would be at least $118,160.00 -- just for the equipment necessary to construct the four sites used in the WIIL test.

In response, GeoBroadcast Solutions' Robert Udowitz stated, "Alpha Media claims that geotargeting technology is too expensive. This is incorrect, especially because we have creative vendor financing solutions for station owners like Alpha Media. Moreover, geotargeting is purely voluntary, meaning Alpha Media doesn't have to deploy the technology if it doesn't want to. So from the FCC's perspective, the only question is whether the technology is in the public interest. The record makes clear that it is."

Read the entire filing here.

Advertisement

Latest Radio Stories

Podtrac Issues Top Podcasts, Publishers & Sales Networks
Podtrac
Podtrac
Podtrac has releases the Top Podcast Publishers, Top Sales Networks and Top Podcasts rankings for November. The average U.S. Unique Monthly Audience for the Top 20 publishers was up 15% month-over-month and up 33% over November, 2021, in part due to More

WPXY/Rochester Taps Phil ''Moose'' Musumeci for Mornings
Phil ''Moose'' Musumeci
Phil ''Moose'' Musumeci
Audacy announces a new morning show on WPXY-FM (98 PXY) in Rochester, NY. The station welcomes back Phil "Moose" Musumeci and pairs him alongside current morning co-host Brianna "Breezy" Sloth. "PXY Mornings with Moose and Breezy" will air weekdays More

FOX News Extends TuneIn Partnership with FOX Weather
TuneIn
TuneIn
TuneIn and FOX News Media have announced the expansion of their long-running partnership to include the recently created FOX Weather station for audio streaming. Already the home to Fox News Radio, FOX News Channel's audio streaming content, the More
Advertisement

WLAV/Grand Rapids Taps Gregg Henson as Morning Co-Host
Gregg Henson
Gregg Henson
Classic Rock WLAV-FM Grand Rapids appoints former Detroit radio personality Gregg Henson as morning co-host. He joins West Michigan personality Michelle McKormick and audience favorite Travis Gibbs on WLAV, weekdays from 5:30-10am on the newly-named More

Acast, Self Financial Partner to Launch Podcast Series
Acast
Acast
Acast has launched a new, six-part branded content podcast series with Self Financial. In the new program called "Self," Acast and Self Financial are banking on influencers and their storytelling power to connect with audiences around the More

JAM'N 94.5/Boston Ups DJ Pup Dawg to Program Director
DJ Pup Dawg
DJ Pup Dawg
WJMN (JAM'N 94.5)/Boston elevates DJ Pup Dawg to Program Director, effective immediately. He'll continue to host 3-9pm weekdays and contribute to Ashlee and The JAM'N Morning Show with DJ 4Eign and Santi. DJ Pup Dawg started his radio journey at More

Return to Menu

Advertisement

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Radio news and headlines delivered right to your e-mail box -- and it's free.

Advertisement

Advertisement