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This New Website Will Help You Find Out if Your Local OTA Channel is Moving

A few years ago the FCC started the process of selling over the air TV spectrum. This sale meant many local channels will be switching channel numbers over the next 3 years.

Now the National Association of Broadcasters has launched a website to help cord cutters find out if their over the air TV channel will change their channel number and when that change will happen.

“NAB is devoted to working with Congress, the FCC, the wireless industry and third-party groups to keep the public informed throughout this enormously challenging undertaking,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith in a statement. “Broadcast TV remains Americans’ top source for local news, weather, community programming and emergency information. The broadcast industry is committed to ensuring no viewer is left without these services.”

A total of 957 TV stations will get payments for giving up spectrum from the auction. In total about 50 wireless bidders—including Comcast/NBCU—got that spectrum. The payouts are large with the largest single TV station getting $304 million for their spectrum. (The 957 number includes sub channels.)

You can check to see if your local channels will move on the national Association of Broadcasters new site here:

Source: FierceCable

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14 Responses to This New Website Will Help You Find Out if Your Local OTA Channel is Moving

  1. Avatar
    Rick AndRock September 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    That doesn’t help much. I need what they are moving to and which ones are going off the air.

    • Avatar
      Respected Citizen September 15, 2017 at 2:05 am #

      You can normally find that info on each station’s Wikipedia page. Here’s the list of affected stations.

      For those who don’t know —

      Out of the 175 stations affected, only a few dozen will shut down, typically shopping, religious, and college stations.

      You will need to rescan once or twice between late 2018 and 2020, but it’s a good idea to rescan every few months anyway, to pick up new digital subchannels.

      I’m certain each channel will broadcast rescan reminders for weeks in advance, just as they reminded everyone about the switch to HD.

      • Avatar
        Evan September 15, 2017 at 4:27 am #

        Are these even streaming stations worth fretting over? Are they just antenna channels?

        • Avatar
          Brian Alexander September 15, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

          Yes, this is OTA they’re talking about, not streaming.

      • Avatar
        Joseph ewing September 15, 2017 at 7:22 am #


        “I’m certain each channel will broadcast rescan reminders for weeks in advance, just as they reminded everyone about the switch to HD.”

      • Avatar
        Brian Alexander September 15, 2017 at 11:29 pm #

        If you get a new subchannel on an already-programmed frequency, doesn’t your TV just show it? Mine does. Rescanning is only important to find new channels. But maybe that’s because I have a pretty new TV?

        • Avatar
          Respected Citizen September 16, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

          I’ve not heard of this feature, what model of TV is it?

          It would be great if you could set TVs to rescan periodically, and notify you of new channels that you can add.

          Are you’re certain these aren’t affiliation switches, say from Grit to Charge?

          • Avatar
            Brian Alexander September 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

            Samsung UN32J5500 – been out for a few years, Best Buy only model. Figured if I was going to go small, I’d get the best one possible.

            Our local ABC affiliate added Ion TV as its .3 – only had one subchannel before that. Plus, our PBS went from 2 to 3 subchannels and it handled that one as well.

            My problem with rescanning (just did one) is that I have to delete the unwanted stuff (a low power MyTV translator – I get it as a .2 on the FOX transmitter – and several religious stations), and I can’t remember how to do it on this TV. On the plus side, it didn’t add my PBS mirror translator and name it funny channel numbers like my old Sammy.

          • Avatar
            Respected Citizen September 16, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

            Thanks, that’s good to know.

            It’s a shame that Samsungs don’t have the “Additional Scan” feature, like on Vizios, which retains your channels.

            To delete channels, this guy/ says you find the channel list in the menu (Antenna > Channel Manager), then hit the TOOLS button.

          • Avatar
            Brian Alexander September 18, 2017 at 1:21 am #

            Didn’t end up being like this (that must have been an earlier vintage Sammy?) but it wasn’t as hard as I was making it out to be. Pulled up the channel list and noticed there were itty bitty check mark boxes next to the channels – as soon as I checked one of the channels, the “Delete” button became active!

  2. Avatar
    Evan September 14, 2017 at 11:00 pm #

    Channel numbers are obsolete with OTT. Who uses channel numbers anymore. We use networks now. What on FX not what’s on channel 32. I haven’t used channel numbers for at least 5 years now.

    • Avatar
      Joseph ewing September 15, 2017 at 7:19 am #

      For those of us who use an antenna for locals, channel numbers are VERY important.

      So I’d say, we are the ones that “use(s) channel numbers anymore”.

    • Avatar
      Brian Alexander September 15, 2017 at 11:26 pm #

      Maybe the channel number isn’t important to you, but it’s important to your OTA tuner – changing frequencies means your TV won’t show the channel anymore unless you rescan.

  3. Avatar
    TV Barrington October 25, 2017 at 8:53 pm #

    Since several people have mentioned that it’s most likely that your local stations will be announcing the switch and for you to rescan, I feel like this will most likely will happen. However, I feel sure that many of us skip through commercials and such, so try to at least make a note to watch your local news when the time grows closer. I feel sure that they will make mention of it several time.

    Also, I would hope there is a transition period as well, just like they did back with analog signals to digital signals. They had two broadcasts for a short grace period before finally shutting down the analog.