April 20, 2006
Sprint Nextel and The ABC Owned Television Stations Agree on Framework for Spectrum Relocation
RESTON, Va. and BURBANK, Ca. — 04/20/2006
Today Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) and the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, a unit of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), announced that both companies have agreed to a template Frequency Relocation Agreement (FRA) for each ABC-owned station and a Group Reimbursement Agreement (GRA), covering ABC's station group relocation-related expenses, in the 2 GHz Relocation project.
Under terms of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 800 MHz Order, 2 GHz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) licensees, which include the ABC-owned stations, must relocate to new spectrum assignments by September 2007. Sprint Nextel is responsible for reimbursing BAS licensees for the cost of relocating to comparable facilities within the 2 GHz spectrum band. BAS licensees use this spectrum to transmit local news from remote locations back to the studio. ABC Owned Television Stations Group includes a presence in major media markets around the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.
The FCC has licensed Sprint Nextel to use a portion of the 2 GHz band for commercial mobile radio services upon relocation of the BAS licensees. The agreements will allow both companies to move ahead with the relocation process and assist ABC's transition to providing digital broadcast news services. Under terms of the agreement, Sprint Nextel will pay for ABC's relocation-related expenses, including the acquisition of comparable equipment to operate in its new frequencies.
Commenting on the agreement, Dave Converse, vice president and director of engineering, ABC-Owned Television Stations said, "We're delighted to have reached this accord, enabling ABC-owned stations across the country to continue their critical local newsgathering and reporting, in compliance with the FCC's spectrum relocation decisions. Our agreement is the result of a lot of hard work by both Sprint Nextel and ABC and it serves the interests of both companies."
Michael Degitz, vice president of spectrum management for Sprint Nextel added, "I'd like to thank our friends at ABC and my colleagues at Sprint Nextel for the many hours of hard work in reaching this agreement. ABC has again shown its leadership in the broadcast industry by being the first major broadcaster to reach agreement with Sprint Nextel on BAS relocation reimbursement. These agreements provide a model for other licensees to complete their own agreements according to the FCC's requirements."
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
About the ABC Owned Television Stations Group
The ABC Owned Television Stations Group, one of America's most successful broadcast portfolios, consists of 10 television stations, which together reach 24% of the nation's television households. All 10 ABC-owned stations enjoy high levels of popularity and competitive strength in their local markets - built upon their individual commitments to news and public affairs, community outreach, top syndicated programming and technological advancement. The stations include WABC-TV in New York; KABC-TV in Los Angeles; WLS-TV in Chicago; WPVI-TV in Philadelphia; KGO-TV in San Francisco; KTRK-TV in Houston; WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham; KFSN-TV in Fresno; WJRT-TV in Flint; and WTVG-TV in Toledo.