WVIZ/PBS ideastream will Move to New Channel Following FCC Spectrum Auction


Marissa Norris, Communications Coordinator
216.916.6318 | marissa.norris@ideastream.org


WVIZ/PBS ideastream will Move to New Channel Following FCC Spectrum Auction

April 13, 2017 (Cleveland) — WVIZ/PBS ideastream announced today that WVIZ Main Channel will continue broadcasting in the UHF spectrum following the conclusion of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction. The purpose of the auction was to free up broadcast television spectrum for wireless broadband use.

As a result of the auction, nearly all stations—whether they participated in the auction or not—must move to a different channel position assigned by the FCC, which is called “repacking.” As many as 1,000 television stations, commercial and non-commercial, throughout the United States will have to move within a 36-month implementation window. 

The FCC informed WVIZ/PBS ideastream that it will move from digital channel 26 (channel 25 via local cable providers) to channel 36.

“The impact, we believe, will be minimal for our audience,” said ideastream President and CEO Kevin Martin. “We will continue to serve the region through television broadcasting, reach the same or an increased number of viewers, and will do so with the same or increased service. As with our peer stations across the U.S., our goal is to complete the conversion to a new channel assignment with minimal disruption to the viewer.”

The FCC provides funding for the reassignment including communication to the viewer. There is no impact to the viewer in terms of their current service provider or type of television.



Serving the community for 52 years, WVIZ was the nation's 100th public station, and the first in the UHF, or ultra-high frequency, range above channel 13.  New TV sets weren't required to receive UHF channels until early 1964, and older sets needed add-on converters for them. When Channel 25 signed on Feb. 7, 1965, it was estimated that only about 5 percent of the local audience was able to see it. "Think" was at the center of the inaugural test pattern broadcast at 10:40 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7, 1965. Today, WVIZ/PBS reaches nearly 1 million households in northeast Ohio.

About ideastream

The mission of ideastream is to strengthen our communities. ideastream pursues this mission as a multiple media public service organization by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain.

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