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Sinclair Television Group

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Released: August 7, 2013
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
August 7, 2013

DA 13-1713
Released: August 7, 2013

Sinclair Television Group, Inc.
c/o Clifford M. Harrington, Esq.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
2300 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
Re: Applications for Transfer of Control
KVAL-TV, Eugene, OR, Fac. Id. No. 49766;
KCBY-TV, Coos Bay, OR, Fac. Id. No. 49750
File No. BTCCDT-20130425ACX
KPIC(TV), Roseburg, OR, Fac. Id. No. 61551
File No. BTCCDT-20130425ADQ
KIMA-TV, Yakima, Washington, Fac. Id. No. 56033
KEPR-TV, Pasco, Washington, Fac. Id. No. 56029
File No. BTCCDT-20130425ADE
Dear Counsel:
This letter is in reference to the unopposed, above-captioned applications for transfer of control
from (i) Fisher Broadcasting-Oregon TV, L.L.C., licensee of KVAL-TV, Eugene, Oregon and KCBY-
TV, Coos Bay, Oregon, (ii) South West Oregon TV Broadcasting Corp., licensee of KPIC(TV),
Roseburg, Oregon, and (iii) Fisher Broadcasting-Washington TV, L.L.C., licensee of KIMA-TV, Yakima,
Washington, and KEPR-TV, Pasco, Washington, to Sinclair Television Group, Inc. ("Sinclair"). Sinclair
has requested authority to continue operating (i) KCBY-TV and KPIC(TV) as satellite stations of KVAL-
TV in the Eugene, Oregon Nielsen Designated Market Area ("DMA") and (ii) KEPR-TV as a satellite
station of KIMA-TV in the Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, Washington DMA, pursuant to Note 5
of Section 73.3555 of the Commission's rules.1 For the reasons set forth below, we grant the requests for
continuing satellite authority and the applications.
In Television Satellite Stations,2 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


1 47 C.F.R. 73.3555, Note 5.
2 Television Satellite Stations Review of Policies and Rules, Report and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4212, 4215
(1991)(subsequent history omitted)(Television Satellite Stations).
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construct or to purchase and operate the satellite as a full-service station.3 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.4
Eugene Market. 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.5 In a previous request, Fisher had demonstrated that
no City Grade contour overlap existed between KCBY-TV, KPIC(TV), and KVAL-TV.6
Regarding the second criterion, Sinclair relies on the Commission's "transmission" test to
demonstrate that KCBY-TV 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,
KCBY-TV and KMCB(TV), a satellite station of KMTR(TV) in Eugene, are the only full-service
television stations licensed to Coos Bay. There are three stations licensed to Roseburg, Oregon, the
community of license of KPIC-TV, but Sinclair contends that one of the three, KTVC(TV), appears to
broadcast the same programming as KBLN-TV, Grants Pass, Oregon, and therefore its niche
programming does not directly compete for viewers and advertising revenues with the other two stations
licensed to the community, KPIC-TV and KTCW(TV).
As for the third criterion, Sinclair cites a previous Commission review authorizing the operation
of KCBY-TV and KPIC-TV, which determined that the geographically challenging market and the
stations' limited coverage areas could not support a viable, stand-alone operation.7 It contends that long-
term satellite operations indicate that standalone operation is likely to be impossible, and notes that
KPIC(TV) has been operating as a satellite station since 1956 and KCBY-TV has been operating as a
satellite since 1960. Sinclair further submits a statement from W. Lawrence Patrick, Managing Partner of
the media brokerage firm Patrick Communications, in support of its assertion that standalone operation of
KCBY-TV and KPIC-TV is likely impossible.
Patrick notes that the Eugene, Oregon DMA covers an extremely large geographic area and the
size of the market essentially mandates use of a satellite to serve the viewing public properly. He further
states that total television advertising dollars decreased by 3 percent from 2007 to 2012 and that BIA
Kelsey ranks the market 134th in terms of television advertising revenue, well below its population rank of
121. Patrick contends that "this indicates a television economy where there is less advertising revenue
available for the pool of stations than most markets of comparable population."8 According to Patrick,
because the major network affiliations are already present in the DMA, there would be no primary
network television programming available to either satellite, and the stations would not have access to
sufficient programming to compete for audience and revenue. Patrick thus concludes that "the marketing


3 Id. at 4213-14.
4 Id. at 4212.
5 New Young Broadcasting Holding Company, Inc., Letter, 25 FCC Rcd 7518, 7519 (Vid. Div. 2010).
6 Applications of Retlaw Broadcasting of Eugene, L. L.C. and Fisher Broadcasting, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and
Order 14 FCC Rcd 6667, 6667 (1999) ("Fisher Broadcasting, Inc.").
7 Id. at 6678.
8 Statement of W. Lawrence Patrick in Support of Request for Continuing Satellite Waiver for KPIC(TV) and
KCBY-TV at 2.
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of KCBY-TV and KPIC(TV) as standalone stations would be unsuccessful given the marginalized nature
of the operation, and knowing that a buyer would be hard pressed to find compelling programming
sufficient to survive."9
Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick Market.
With respect to the first criterion, Fisher had
demonstrated in a previous request that no City Grade contour overlap existed between KIMA-TV and
KEPR-TV.10
Regarding the second criterion, Sinclair relies on the Commission's "transmission" test to
demonstrate that KEPR-TV 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. KEPR-TV is the only full-
service television station licensed to Pasco, Washington.
As for the third criterion, Sinclair cites a previous Commission review authorizing the operation
of KEPR-TV, which determined that the geographically challenging market and the station's limited
coverage area could not support a viable, stand-alone operation.11 It contends that long-term satellite
operations indicate that standalone operation is likely to be impossible, and notes that KEPR-TV has been
operating as a satellite station since 1954. Sinclair further submits a statement from W. Lawrence Patrick,
Managing Partner of the media brokerage firm Patrick Communications, in support of its assertion that
standalone operation of KEPR-TV is likely impossible.
Patrick states that the Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick DMA covers a very sizeable
geographic area and the size of the market essentially requires use of a satellite to serve the viewing
public adequately. He further states that BIA Kelsey ranks the market 140th in terms of television
advertising revenue, well below its population rank of 123. Patrick contends that "this indicates a
television economy where there is less advertising revenue available for the pool of stations than most
markets of comparable population."12 Patrick thus concludes that "the marketing of KEPR . . . as a
standalone station would be unsuccessful given the marginalized nature of the operation, and knowing
that a buyer would be hard pressed to find compelling programming sufficient to survive."13
Although the instant requests do not satisfy the Commission's presumptive satellite exemption
standard, Sinclair has provided information sufficient to warrant continued satellite operation for KCBY-
TV, KPIC(TV), and KEPR-TV under our ad hoc analysis. In 1999, the Commission reviewed the
specific facts surrounding these stations and the operation of KCBY-TV and KPIC(TV) as satellites of
KVAL-TV and KEPR-TV as a satellite of KIMA-TV and concluded that the satellites could not survive
as stand-alone stations.14 Given the stations' long history as satellites, the geographically challenging
nature of their coverage areas, and the declining position of the Eugene DMA and the Yakima-Pasco-
Richland-Kennewick DMA, it is unlikely that an alternative operator would be willing and able to operate
the stations as stand-alone facilities. Accordingly, we find that the continued operation of KCBY-TV and
KPIC(TV) as satellites of KVAL-TV and KEPR-TV as a satellite of KPIC-TV would serve the public
interest.


9 Id. at 3.
10 Fisher Broadcasting, Inc., 14 FCC Rcd at 6676.
11 Id. at 6678.
12 Statement of W. Lawrence Patrick in Support of Request for Continuing Satellite Waiver for KEPR-TV at 2.
13 Id. at 3.
14 Fisher Broadcasting, Inc., 14 FCC Rcd at 6678.
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Furthermore, having carefully reviewed the applications, we find that the applicants are fully
qualified and conclude that the grant of the applications would serve the public interest.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED That the application for transfer of control of the licenses of
KVAL-TV, Eugene, Oregon and KCBY-TV, Coos Bay, Oregon (File No. BTCCDT-20130425ACX), the
application for transfer of control of KEPR-TV, Pasco, Washington, and KIMA-TV, Yakima,
Washington (File No. BTCCDT-20130425ADE), and the application for transfer of control of KPIC-TV,
Roseburg, Oregon (File No. BTCCDT-20130425ADQ) ARE GRANTED.
Sincerely,
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau
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