Plans by the FCC to reallocate 120 MHz of broadcast television spectrum to the wireless industry through incentive auctions could force nearly 400 stations in 86 markets off the air, claims a study released last Friday by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). According to the NAB’s analysis, voluntary incentive auctions and the resulting involuntary repacking of broadcast TV channels would impact 8,631 stations (731 full power, 502 Class A, and 6,434 low power) nationwide. The FCC’s plan would force at least 210 full power stations in 61 markets off the air. When Class A stations are factored in, that number would rise to 391 stations in 86 markets. With respect to the top 10 markets, NAB asserts that 16 of 27 full power stations in New York would face service disruptions or suffer other detrimental effects of the channel repacking process. At least 14 of 29 stations in the Los Angeles market would be similarly impacted along with six of 22 stations in Chicago and each of Detroit’s 14 stations. NAB further contends that repacking and reallocation of full power television channels would cost the broadcast industry upwards of $2.5 billion—a figure that is significantly higher than the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of $1 billion. At a press conference on Monday, NAB President Gordon Smith stressed that his organization took the initiative in studying the effects of the FCC’s proposals upon the industry as “we’ve waited patiently for over a year for FCC data on how the [National] Broadband Plan impacts broadcasters, and more importantly, the tens of millions of viewers who rely every day on local TV.” While reiterating his support for “truly voluntary spectrum auctions” as required in legislation now pending before the House and Senate, Smith nevertheless told reporters, “our concern is that the FCC plan will morph into involuntary, because it is impossible for the FCC to meet spectrum reclamation goals without this becoming a government mandate.” Maintaining, however, that “participation in the auction is voluntary” and “repacking costs will be reimbursed,” Chris Guttman-McCabe, the vice president of regulatory affairs for wireless association CTIA, emphasized that, “contrary to the scare tactics that NAB is presenting . . . reallocating underutilized spectrum will not remove free over-the-air broadcast television.”