Mission TV, LLC
Washington, D.C. 20554
April 3, 2014
Released: April 3, 2014
c/o Mace J. Rosenstein
Covington & Burling LLP
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Gray Television Group, Inc.
c/o Robert J. Folliard, III
1299 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Re: File No. BTCCDT-20131226AAX
KEVN-TV, Rapid City, SD, Fac. Id. No. 34347
KIVV-TV, Lead, SD, Fac. Id. No. 34348
As set forth in greater detail below, we grant the above-captioned application for transfer of
control of television licenses from Mission TV, LLC (“Mission”) to Gray Television Group, Inc.
(“Gray”). We also grant Gray authority to continue operating KIVV-TV, Lead, South Dakota as a
satellite in the Rapid City, South Dakota Nielsen Designated Market Area (“DMA”), pursuant to Note 5
of Section 73.3555 of the Commission’s rules.1 The station has operated as a satellite since 1959.2
Continuing Satellite Waivers. In Television Satellite Stations,3 the Commission established the
requirement that all applicants seeking to transfer or assign satellite stations justify continued satellite
status by demonstrating compliance with a three-part “presumptive” satellite exemption standard
applicable to new satellite stations. The presumptive satellite exemption is met if the following three
public interest criteria are satisfied: (1) there is no City Grade overlap between the parent and the satellite;
(2) the proposed satellite would provide service to an underserved area; and (3) no alternative operator is
ready and able to construct or to purchase and operate the satellite as a full-service station.4 If an
applicant does not qualify for the presumption, the Commission will evaluate the proposal on an ad hoc
basis and grant the application if there are compelling circumstances that warrant approval.5
1 47 C.F.R. § 73.3555, Note 5.
2 File No. BTCCDT-20131226AAX, Request for Continuation of Satellite Waiver (“Satellite Waiver Request”).
3 Television Satellite Stations Review of Policy and Rules, Report and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4212, 4215 (1991).
4 Id. at 4213-14.
5 Id. at 4212.
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With regard to the first criterion, we note that, following the digital transition, full-power
television stations have a digital Principal Community contour that serves a much larger area than their
former analog City Grade contour. Thus, as we stated previously, the Principal Community contour is not
an equivalent standard to use in determining whether a proposed satellite qualifies for the presumptive
satellite exemption to the duopoly rule.6 Here, Gray acknowledges that it cannot satisfy the first criterion
because the stations’ City Grade contours overlap but points to a previous case approving a satellite
waiver for the station in which the Video Division concluded that the City Grade contour overlap was
“not as substantial as in other cases.”7 Gray further notes that, because of the mountainous terrain in
western South Dakota, it is difficult to receive a reliable signal from both KEVN-TV and KIVV-TV in
much of the area of overlap.8
Regarding the second criterion, Gray relies on the Commission’s “transmission” test to
demonstrate that it provides service to an underserved area. That test deems an area underserved if there
are two or fewer full-power television stations (including commercial, noncommercial, and satellite
stations) licensed to the proposed satellite’s community of license. Here, KIVV-TV and KHSD-TV, a
satellite of KOTA-TV, Rapid City, are the only two television stations licensed to Lead, South Dakota.9
Under the third criterion, an applicant must show that no alternative operator is ready and able to
construct, or to purchase and operate, the proposed satellite as a full-service station.10 Gray notes that, in
the 15 years that Mission has owned the station, no potential buyer has expressed interest in owning
KIVV-TV on a standalone basis.11 Gray further notes that previous Commission cases have determined
that KIVV-TV could not survive as a standalone station.12 Gray notes that the Rapid City DMA remains
one of the smallest in the country and that KIVV-TV reaches only 2,010 of the 98,020 households in the
DMA.13 Each of the four major networks already have affiliates in the DMA, meaning for the station to
operate as a standalone it would need to affiliate with a less popular network or operate as an independent
station, Gray notes. Given that it serves only a small portion of the DMA, it is unlikely the station could
survive under either scenario, Gray contends.14
Although the instant request does not satisfy the Commission’s presumptive satellite exemption
standard, Gray has provided information sufficient to warrant continued satellite operation for KIVV-TV
under our ad hoc analysis. Given the station’s history as a satellite since 1959, the limited population of
the DMA, and the fact that the other major network affiliates in the DMA also rely on satellites, it is
unlikely that an alternative operator would be willing and able to operate the station as stand-alone
6 New Young Broadcasting Holding Company, Inc., Letter Decision, 25 FCC Rcd 7518, 7519 (Vid. Div. 2010).
7 Satellite Waiver Request at 2 (citing KEVN, Inc., File Nos. BTCCT-980310IA-IB, 1800E4-SAM, Letter Decision
(Vid. Div. 1998)).
10 Television Satellite Stations Review of Policy and Rules, 6 FCC Rcd at 4215.
11 Satellite Waiver Request at 2.
12 USA Broadcasting, Inc., File Nos. BALCT-980624IA-IB, 180E1-LSS, Letter Decision (Vid. Div. 1998); KEVN,
Inc., File Nos. BTCCT-980310IA-IB, 1800E4-SAM; Heritage Media, File No. BTCCT-950911KF, 1800E4AL,
Letter Decision (Vid. Div. 1996).
13 Satellite Waiver Request at 2.
14 Id. at 3.
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facility. Accordingly, we find that the continued operation of KIVV-TV as a satellite of KEVN-TV
would serve the public interest.
Furthermore, having carefully reviewed the application, we find that the applicant is fully
qualified and conclude that the grant of the application would serve the public interest.
Current Renewals. It is Commission policy, in multi-station transactions, to grant transfer of
control applications while renewal applications are pending as long as there are no basic qualification
issues pending against the transferor or transferee that could not be resolved in the context of the transfer
proceeding, and the transferee explicitly assents to standing in the stead of the transferor in the pending
renewal proceeding.15 The above-captioned Mission stations, whose sale is part of the broader transaction
involving the transfer of control of approximately twelve full-service television stations from Hoak
Media, LLC., to Gray Television Group, Inc., have applications pending before the Commission for
renewal of broadcast licenses. None of these renewals has petitions or other matters currently pending
that present a basic character qualification issue. Gray has submitted a statement explicitly agreeing to
stand in the stead of the transferor in any renewal application that is pending at the time of the
consummation of the transfer.16 Therefore, we will apply the policy set out in Shareholders of CBS to
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED, That the application for transfer of control of the licenses
for stations KIVV-TV, Lead, South Dakota and KEVN-TV, Rapid City, South Dakota, lead file no.
BTCCDT-20131226AAX, IS GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, That Gray’s request for a
continuing waiver to operate KIVV-TV, Lead, South Dakota as a satellite station of KEVN-TV, Rapid
City, South Dakota, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 73.3555, Note 5, IS GRANTED.
Deputy Chief, Video Division
15 Shareholders of CBS Corporation, Memorandum Opinion and Order, l6 FCC Rcd 16072, 16072-73 (2001).
16 File No. BTCCDT-20131226AAX.
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