PBS SoCal KOCE to Invest $49 Million Earned from FCC Broadcast Incentive Auction to Expand Its Free Services across Southern California

L.A.’s Flagship PBS Station Will Build Capacity, Grow Content
Production

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PBS SoCal KOCE, the flagship PBS station for Greater Los Angeles and
Southern California, announced it earned $49 million through its
participation in the FCC Broadcast Incentive Auction and will invest
these one-time revenues in expanding its mission across the region.
There will be no change for viewers; PBS SoCal will continue to
broadcast, for free and in high quality (UHF), the full line-up of PBS
programs on all four of its current channels over the air, via cable and
satellite, and online at pbssocal.org.

“Our priority as the primary PBS station for Greater Los Angeles is to
ensure we can deliver PBS programs to the 18 million people across the
six counties in our region well into the future. We retained the
bandwidth necessary to accomplish that,” said Andrew Russell, President
and CEO of PBS SoCal. “The one-time auction revenues allow us to achieve
another important objective: to invest in expanding our mission by
providing more services to more people across the region.”

Following a long and thoughtful process, PBS SoCal’s board of trustees
and management decided to participate in the FCC Broadcast Incentive
Auction in which broadcasters were able to sell all or part of their
broadcast spectrum. Through a channel sharing agreement with local Los
Angeles full power television station KSCI, PBS SoCal retained most of
the stations’ combined spectrum, ensuring sufficient bandwidth to serve
the Southern California region while earning revenues that will be
invested in building for the long-term future of PBS SoCal. That plan
includes increasing investment in PBS and other programming, making
strategic investments in content production and broadband services that
reach more audiences via mobile and web, and building a strong financial
foundation for PBS SoCal’s future by restructuring debt and creating an
investment fund that generates annual revenues.

“PBS SoCal remains deeply committed to serving Southern California and
advancing the PBS mission,” Russell continued. “While these one-time
auction revenues will help us expand our mission, we are grateful for
the individuals, foundations and corporations whose collective ongoing
support comprises more than 80 percent of our annual budget. Your
support continues to be essential – particularly as our important
federal funding is under threat – to ensuring the news, public affairs,
arts and science programs that are critical for an educated and informed
citizenry.”

The President’s budget proposes the elimination of federal funding for
public broadcasting, which amounts to $1.35 per citizen per year. The
loss of federal funding would have a devastating effect on PBS’s ability
to produce the quality content our viewers love – educational kids’
programs like Daniel Tiger, documentaries from Ken Burns, unbiased news
from PBS NewsHour and FRONTLINE, and dramas from Masterpiece would all
be affected. Local PBS stations would struggle to operate and some would
close – ultimately resulting in a collapse of the PBS system. A recent
bipartisan survey found that 73% of voters across political lines oppose
the elimination of federal funding for public broadcasting. Congress
will ultimately decide through the budget process if funding continues.

“There is no viable replacement for federal funding of public
broadcasting,” Russell said. “The one-time funds from the spectrum
auction will not come close to closing the large fiscal gap that would
be left by the loss of annual federal support. Federal funding is vital
seed funding that helps stations raise the local support that represents
more than half of our annual budgets.”

ABOUT PBS SoCal KOCE:

PBS SoCal is the home to PBS for Greater Los Angeles and Southern
California. We deliver the full schedule of PBS programs plus content
that is for, about and by the people of Southern California. Our content
is available free through four broadcast channels, at pbssocal.org, on
our mobile apps, and via connected TV services. And we provide the
community with early education resources and cultural and educational
experiences through partnerships, events and grassroots outreach. PBS
SoCal has offices in Century City, Costa Mesa, and Los Angeles. Connect
with us at pbssocal.org
and on Facebook,
Twitter
and Instagram.

Contacts

PBS SoCal KOCE
Jennifer Vides, VP, Marketing
310.237.4516
JVides@pbssocal.org
or
Tracy
Smith, Director, PR
310.237.4517
TSmith@pbssocal.org