Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
Approved by OMB
3060-1105 (February 2009)
FCC 387
FOR FCC USE ONLY
 
DTV TRANSITION STATUS REPORT

PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE COMPLETING THIS FORM

FOR COMMISSION USE ONLY
FILE NO.

BDTRCT - 20080219BIQ

NOTE: Each Licensee/Permittee is responsible for the continuing accuracy and completeness of the information furnished in this Form. Each Licensee/Permittee must update this Form, as necessary, until such Licensee/Permittee reports the completion of its transition (i.e., that it has begun operating its full, authorized facility as defined in the post-transition DTV Table, 47 C.F.R. 73.622(i), and accompanying Appendix B).

SECTION I - GENERAL INFORMATION

Licensee/Permittee Information
1. Legal Name of the Licensee/Permittee
SUNBELT MULTIMEDIA CO.
Mailing Address
3900 NORTH 10TH STREET, 7TH FLOOR

City
MCALLEN
State or Country (if foreign address)
TX
ZIP Code
78501 -
Telephone Number (include area code)
9566860040
E-Mail Address (if available) 
SVALE@KTLMTV.COM
Contact Information (if different from licensee/permittee)
2. Contact Representative
STUART W. NOLAN, JR., ESQ.
Firm or Company Name

Mailing Address
4121 WILSON BOULEVARD, SUITE 101

City
ARLINGTON
State or Country (if foreign address)
VA
ZIP Code
22203 -
Telephone Number (include area code)
7034652361
E-Mail Address (if available) 
NOLAN@LEGALCOMPASS.COM
Station / Facility Information
3. FCC Registration Number
0005851993
Call Sign 
KTLM
Facility ID Number
62354
Community of License: City
RIO GRANDE CITY

State
TX

Network Affiliation (if applicable)
Satellite?
Yes   No
Purpose of Form:
4.
a. Status Report
b. Update     
c. Amendment
If an amendment, submit as an Exhibit a listing by Section and Question Number the portions of the pending application that are being revised. [Exhibit 1]

SECTION II - CURRENT STATUS

1.
Currently Assigned Channels:
a. NTSC Channel: 40 
b. Post-Transition DTV Channel:  20
c. Pre-Transition DTV Channel (if different from Post-Transition channel.)
2.
Relevant FCC File No. for Post-Transition Authorization, if on file with Commission (or indicate "Not Yet Filed"):
FCC File No. - Not Yet Filed
3.
Current Construction Deadline:




SECTION III - POST-TRANSITION FACILITY (Complete all items unless otherwise indicated.)

1. Operational Status:
Is the Licensee/Permittee now operating its fully authorized final, DTV (post-transition) facility?
Yes No     (If YES, go to Section V; If NO, go to Item 2.)

2. If Item 1 is NO (i.e., not fully operational), then indicate operational status of final, DTV (post-transition) facility and indicate date Licensee/Permittee expects to begin full, authorized post-transition operations: (check one)
(i)
Licensee/Permittee is operating its post-transition facility pursuant to program test authority; see 47 C.F.R. § 73.1620(a). If checked, indicate date Licensee/Permittee expects to file its license to cover (FCC Form 302) application. Expected Operational Date:
(mm/dd/yyyy)
(ii)
Licensee/Permittee is operating its post-transition facility pursuant to special temporary authority (STA) or at a reduced facility. If checked, indicate power level and percentage of analog population covered by reduced facility. Power Level
 kW
Population:
 %
(iii)
Licensee/Permittee is not operating its post-transition facility.
3. Construction Status:
Has the Licensee/Permittee completed construction of its final, DTV (post-transition) facility?
Yes No     (If YES, skip Items 4-5 and go to Item 6(a); If NO, go to Item 4.)

4. If Item 3 is NO (i.e., not fully constructed), then indicate construction status of final, DTV (post-transition) facility and indicate date Licensee/Permittee expects to complete construction: (check all that apply)
(i) Licensee/Permittee has not begun construction of its post-transition facility. Expected Construction Date:
02/18/2009
(mm/dd/yyyy)
(ii) Licensee/Permittee is now constructing its post-transition facility.
(iii) Licensee/Permittee has constructed a reduced post-transition facility and additional construction is needed to complete Licensee/Permittee's fully authorized facility.
5. Construction Permit Status:
Does the Licensee/Permittee hold a license or construction permit for its final, DTV (post-transition) facility?
Yes No     (If YES, go to Item 6(a); If NO, skip Item 6(a) and go to Item 6(b).)

6.
a. Does the Licensee/Permittee need to modify its license or construction permit in order to match the post-transition facilities defined for the Licensee/Permittee in the new DTV Table of Allotments, 47 C.F.R. § 73.622(i), as adopted in the Seventh Report and Order in MB Docket No. 87-268?
Yes No     (If YES, go to 6(b); If NO, skip Item 6(b) and go to Section IV.)

b. Has the Licensee/Permittee filed an application for a new or modified construction permit for its final, DTV (post-transition) facility? (If YES, indicate relevant FCC File No. and date filed; If NO, indicate date Licensee/Permittee expects to file such application.) (NOTE: To qualify for expedited processing, the Licensee/Permittee must file its application within 45 days of the effective date of the Report and Order in the Third DTV Periodic Review proceeding, MB Docket No. 07-91, as well as meet other criteria established in that proceeding.)
Yes
FCC File No.
- Filing Date: (mm/dd/yyyy)
No
Expected Filing Date:
03/17/2008 (mm/dd/yyyy)

SECTION IV -- ADDITIONAL STEPS NEEDED TO COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION (For Licensees/Permittees that are not fully constructed or operational.)

At present, Licensee/Permittee has the following needs that must be addressed before it can fully construct and/or operate its final, DTV (post-transition) facility: (check all that apply and for all checked responses, describe issue and estimate date of resolution. If necessary, provide an explanation or attach an Exhibit). [Exhibit 2]
(1) Licensee/Permittee needs to obtain FCC action on a pending application. (If checked, indicate date filed and relevant FCC File No.)
FCC File No. -

Date filed: (mm/dd/yyyy)

(2) Licensee/Permittee needs to obtain international government clearance for its post-transition facility.
(3) Licensee/Permittee needs to obtain FAA approval for its post-transition facility.
(4) Licensee/Permittee needs to obtain state or local governmental approval (e.g., zoning) for its post-transition facility.
(5) Licensee/Permittee needs to obtain, adjust and/or install equipment for its post-transition facility. (If checked, specify need below and indicate when equipment was ordered and expected delivery date.)
(1) New antenna.
(2) Adjust or install antenna (except for side-mount issue).
(3) Switch side-mounted DTV antenna with top-mounted analog antenna.
(4) New transmitter.
(5) Adjust or install transmitter.
(6) General installation of equipment requiring hiring of a tower crew.
(7) Other equipment needs. (If checked, specify.)
(6)
Licensee/Permittee needs to change its tower location or construct a new tower.
(7) Licensee/Permittee needs to coordinate its transition with other broadcast stations. (If checked, specify Call Signs of those other stations.)
(8) Licensee/Permittee has other needs that must be addressed before it can fully construct and operate its post-transition facility. (If checked, explain.)

SECTION V -- ANALOG SERVICE

Status of Analog Service. (Check one.) If necessary, provide an explanation or attach an Exhibit. Note: Full-power television broadcast stations must cease broadcasting in analog as of the transition date (i.e., June 12, 2009), as required by statute; see 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(14). [Exhibit 3]
(1) Licensee/Permittee will continue to provide full, authorized analog service until the transition date.
(2) Licensee/Permittee has obtained FCC approval to reduce its analog service prior to the transition date. If checked, indicate relevant FCC File No., date reduced service will begin, power level and percentage of population covered by Licensee/Permittee's analog service.
(3) Licensee/Permittee has obtained FCC approval to terminate its analog service prior to the transition date. If checked, indicate relevant FCC File No. and date service will cease.
(4) Licensee/Permittee has filed an application with the FCC requesting approval to reduce its analog service prior to the transition date. If checked, indicate relevant FCC File No., proposed date reduced service would begin, proposed power level and percentage of population that would be covered by Licensee/Permittee's proposed reduced analog service.
(5) Licensee/Permittee has filed an application with the FCC requesting approval to terminate its analog service prior to the transition date. If checked, indicate relevant FCC File No. and proposed date service will cease.


SECTION VI -- DTV TRANSITION PLAN For Licensees/Permittees that are not fully constructed or operational.

Licensee/Permittee must describe in detail its plans for ceasing analog broadcasting by the June 12, 2009 transition date and for completing construction of its post-transition facility by the deadline. For example, plan must include a detailed time line of the Licensee/Permittee's plans to complete construction and any necessary testing of the Licensee/Permittee's full, authorized post-transition facility. [Exhibit 4]

SECTION VII -- ANTI-DRUG ABUSE ACT CERTIFICATION

Filer certifies that neither it nor any party to the form is subject to denial of federal benefits pursuant to Section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, 21 U.S.C. Section 862. Yes No

SECTION VIII -- CERTIFICATION

I certify that the statements in this application are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief, and are made in good faith. I acknowledge that all certifications and attached Exhibits are considered material representations. I hereby waive any claim to the use of any particular frequency as against the regulatory power of the United States because of the previous use of the same, whether by license or otherwise, and request an authorization in accordance with this application. (See Section 304 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.)

Typed or Printed Name of Person Signing
SAM F. VALE
Typed or Printed Title of Person Signing
PRESIDENT
Signature
Date
02/19/2008

WILLFUL FALSE STATEMENTS ON THIS FORM ARE PUNISHABLE BY FINE AND/OR IMPRISONMENT (U.S. CODE, TITLE 18, SECTION 1001), AND/OR REVOCATION OF ANY STATION LICENSE OR CONSTRUCTION PERMIT (U.S. CODE, TITLE 47, SECTION 312(a)(1)), AND/OR FORFEITURE (U.S. CODE, TITLE 47, SECTION 503).



Exhibits
Exhibit 2
Description:
UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES OF KTLM-DT

KTLM-TV WENT ON THE AIR IN 1999 AS THE ONLY LOCALLY-OWNED AND MINORITY-OWNED TELEVISION STATION IN THE LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY OF TEXAS. WITH ITS 1800 FOOT TOWER AND 5 MW ERP SIGNAL, IT BROUGHT THE FIRST HIGH-QUALITY TELEVISION SIGNAL TO STARR COUNTY, TEXAS, AND A FIRST SIGNAL OF ANY KIND TO PARTS OF FOUR TEXAS COUNTIES (DUVAL, JIM HOGG, STARR AND ZAPATA COUNTIES). THIS SERVICE WAS ACCOMPLISHED AT TREMENDOUS COST, WITH THE TOWER ALONE COSTING MULTIPLE MILLIONS. EVEN NOW, ALMOST TWO MILLION DOLLARS OF THE COST HAS NOT BEEN DEPRECIATED, YET UNLESS THE FCC GRANTS SUNBELT MULTIMEDIA SPECIAL RELIEF, THE ENTIRE PROJECT COULD TURN INTO A LOSS.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE WIDE-AREA COVERAGE THAT SUNBELT PRESENTLY PROVIDES WILL DISAPPEAR UNLESS SUNBELT IS ABLE TO (A) CHANGE ITS POST-TRANSITION ALLOTMENT TO CHANNEL 40, AND (B) SECURE PERMISSION TO REPLICATE (OR EXCEED) ITS ANALOG COVERAGE USING ITS DTV CHANNEL.

THE CHANGE TO CHANNEL 40 AS THE POST-TRANSITION FREQUENCY IS MANDATED BY THE TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCES IN THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION ON CHANNEL 40 (WHERE THE EXISTING ANALOG ANTENNA AND MOST OF THE EXISTING ANALOG TRANSMITTER CAN STILL BE USED) AS OPPOSED TO CHANNEL 20.

FOR SOME REASON THAT SUNBELT DOES NOT UNDERSTAND, THE FACILITY DESCRIBED IN APPENDIX B WILL PRODUCE ONLY A MINIMAL SIGNAL. THIS WILL CUT KTLM-DT OFF FROM BEING ABLE TO COVER THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION IN ITS DMA. IT IS THEREFORE ESSENTIAL THAT KTLM-DT BE PERMITTED TO OPERATE WITH SUBSTANTIAL POWER FROM ITS EXISTING TALL TOWER. SUNBELT HAS RESEARCHED ITS ABILITY TO USE BOTH CHANNEL 20 AND CHANNEL 40 FROM THE EXISTING TOWER, AND HAS FOUND THAT THERE ARE NO IMPEDIMENTS EITHER IN THE UNITED STATES OR IN MEXICO TO THE POST-TRANSITION USE OF CHANNEL 40 AT THE LICENSED SITE. THERE ARE TWO POTENTIAL IMPEDIMENTS TO CHANNNEL 20: TWO MEXICAN SHORT-SPACED ALLOTMENTS.

OF COURSE, A BROADER PROBLEM IS THAT MEXICO HAS, AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, NOT BEGUN THE DTV TRANSITION. APPROXIMATELY HALF OF THE AREA SERVED BY KTLM-TV'S ANALOG SIGNAL, AND THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION SERVED, ARE IN MEXICO. ONCE THE ANALOG SIGNAL OF KTLM CEASES OPERATIONS, THESE VIEWERS WILL LOSE THE ABILITY TO WATCH KTLM. IN ADDITION, AS SHOWN BY A RECENT NIELSEN STUDY, ON THE US SIDE OF THE BORDER, THE BURDEN OF THE DTV TRANSITION WILL FALL DISPROPORTIONATELY ON HISPANIC AMERICANS, WHO FORM THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE RESIDENTS IN THE KTLM VIEWING AREA. NOT ONLY CAN FEWER OF THESE PEOPLE AFFORD TO MAKE THE TRANSITION TO DIGITAL IMMEDIATELY, BUT THEY WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE THE OPTION OF WATCHING MEXICAN STATIONS THAT WILL STILL BE BROADCASTING IN ANALOG AFTER FEBRUARY 17, 2009. THOSE WHO DO NOT PURCHASE DIGITAL SETS, OR OBTAIN AND INSTALL CONVERSION BOXES, WILL EFFECTIVELY BE EXILED FROM THE UNITED STATES IN TERMS OF TELEVISION VIEWING. ACCORDINGLY, SUNBELT IS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF LEGISLATION PENDING IN CONGRESS TO EXTEND, AS TO TELEVISION MARKETS ALONG THE MEXICAN BORDER, THE DATE FOR TERMINATION OF ANALOG BROADCASTS.

SUNBELT RECOGNIZES THAT MEXICAN CONCURRENCE WOULD BE REQUIRED FOR THE CHANGE TO CHANNEL 40 AS THE POST-TRANSITION CHANNEL OF KTLM, BUT AS THERE ARE NO MEXICAN ALLOTMENTS THAT WOULD CONFLICT WITH THE USE OF CHANNEL 40 AT RIO GRANDE CITY FROM THE LICENSED KTLM SITE, THE NEED FOR MEXICAN APPROVAL WOULD NOT SEEM TO POSE A PERMANENT IMPEDIMENT TO THIS SOLUTION.

ASSUMING THAT SUCH LEGISLATION IS NOT PASSED, AND THAT THE FCC REFUSES TO ALLOW SUNBELT TO CHANGE ITS POST-TRANSITION ALLOTMENT TO CHANNEL 40, PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES INDICATE THAT SUNBELT CANNOT COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION OF A FULL POWER CHANNEL 20 DTV OPERATION BY FEBRUARY 17, 2009, MUCH LESS BY AUGUST OF 2008. THE RELEVANT FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS WILL BE DETAILED IN A SUPPLEMENTAL, CONFIDENTIAL FILING. SUFFICE IT HERE TO SAY THAT THE COST DIFFERENTIAL BETWEEN A CHANNEL 20 DTV FACILITY AT THE LICENSED TOWER SITE AND A CHANNEL 40 FACILITY IS MORE THAN HALF A MILLION DOLLARS.

WHILE THIS KIND OF COST SPREAD MAY NOT REPRESENT A MAJOR PROBLEM FOR A MAJOR GROUP OWNER, FOR A SINGLE STATION OWNER LIKE SUNBELT, IT REPRESENTS AN IMPOSSIBILITY. RECENT DRAMATIC PROGRESS IN KTLM'S RATINGS AND REVENUES COMES TOO LATE TO UNDERWRITE AN IMMEDIATE PROGRAM OF THE PURCHASE OF A NEW ANTENNA AND OF A NEW TRANSMITTER ON CHANNEL 20. AND SUCH PROGRESS WILL BE TOTALLY ABORTED IF KTLM'S COVERAGE WERE TO BE SUDDENLY SLASHED DOWN TO THE MINIMAL AREA REPRESENTED BY THE APPENDIX B DTV FACILITY FOR KTLM.

IF THE FCC, IN APPENDIX B, HAD AUTHORIZED A FACILITY MATCHING THE ORIGINAL DTV CONSTRUCTION PERMIT, THAT WOULD BE ONE THING. THE PERMIT CONTEMPLATED A DTV OPERATION ON CHANNEL 20 NEAR THE HEART OF THE DMA, WITH 1000 KW ERP AND ANTENNA HEIGHT 942 FEET ABOVE AVERAGE TERRAIN. THIS FACILITY WOULD HAVE SERVED THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION IN THE DMA. YET THE COST OF CONSTRUCTING A NEW TOWER, AS WELL AS INSTALLING A NEW TRANSMITTER AND NEW ANTENNA, WOULD BE MORE THAN DAUNTING FOR KTLM AT THIS STAGE. THERE IS AN EXISTING TOWER NEARBY, BUT AS IT IS OWNED BY KTLM'S CHIEF COMPETITOR THIS MAY NOT POSE AN ADEQUATE SOLUTION. AND IN ANY EVENT THE OTHER ELEMENTS REQUIRED TO CONSTRUCT THERE ARE NOT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF WHAT SUNBELT CAN REALISTICALLY HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR.

CHAIRMAN MARTIN LAST WEEK COMMITTED TO CONGRESS THAT TELEVISION STATIONS WILL BE ABLE TO REPLICATE IN DTV THEIR CURRENT ANALOG SERVICE AREAS. ALL SUNBELT IS REQUESTING IS THAT IT BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO. IT WILL BE SUBMITTING SUCH APPLICATIONS AND PETITIONS AS MAY BE APPROPRIATE TOWARD THAT END. IF THIS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED, AND SUNBELT IS REQUIRED TO KEEP CHANNEL 20 AS ITS POST-TRANSITION CHANNEL, THEN SUNBELT WOULD LIKELY SEEK AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT EITHER A LOW POWER (BUT HIGH HAAT) CHANNEL 20 INSTALLATION AT THE CURRENT TOWER SITE OR, IF ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE FOR FINANCING AND USE OF TOWER SPACE NEAR ALAMO, TEXAS, THEN A CHANNEL 20 FACILITY OF SOME DESCRIPTION THERE.

IN SUM, SUNBELT DOES NOT HAVE UNLIMITED RESOURCES. AS A MINORITY-OWNED ENTITY, IT WAS ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN BROADCASTING IN THE 1990'S AT THE BEHEST OF AN FCC THAT DESIRED GREATER DIVERSITY IN BROADCAST OWNERSHIP AND PROGRAMMING. NOW, CERTAIN ACTIONS BY CONGRESS AND THE FCC HAVE PLACED SUNBELT IN AN IMPOSSIBLE POSITION, ABSENT RELIEF OF THE SORT DESCRIBED IN THIS EXHIBIT.

THE LICENSEE DOES NOT WISH TO REPRESENT TO THE FCC THAT IT WILL DO SOMETHING THAT, AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, IT CANNOT DO. THIS IS WHY IT IS SEEKING TO PRESERVE SERVICE THROUGH AN ALTERNATIVE PLAN THAT IS WITHIN SUNBELT'S FINANCIAL CAPACITY.

Attachment 2


Exhibit 4
Description:
PLAN FOR TERMINATION OF ANALOG BROADCASTS

AS DETAILED IN EXHIBIT 2, SUNBELT MULTIMEDIA DOES NOT PRESENTLY HAVE A CLEAR PATH TO THE SURVIVAL OF THIS TELEVISION STATION IF ANALOG BROADCASTS ARE TERMINATED AS OF FEBRUARY 17, 2009, AND THE LICENSEE IS REQUIRED TO OPERATE ONLY A DTV STATION WITH THE NEGLIGIBLE COVERAGE OF THE APPENDIX B FACILITY. AFTER THE STATION'S OWNERS HAVE POURED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THIS PROJECT AND DEVELOPED AN AUDIENCE TO THE POINT THAT ONLY NOW IS THE STATION BEGINNING TO PAY FOR ITSELF, IT WOULD BE A TRAVESTY FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION TO EFFECTIVELY TERMINATE THE VALUABLE SERVICE REPRESENTED BY KTLM-TV AND DESTROY THE INVESTMENT OF ITS OWNERS. PERHAPS A PERMANENT DTV FACILITY ON CHANNEL 20 COULD BE CONSTRUCTED BASED ON A MODIFICATION OF THE CURRENT STA FACILITY, BUT WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT OF THAT? THE MAJORITY OF KTLM'S VIEWERS WOULD BE WATCHING MEXICAN TELEVISION (OR OF THOSE THAT HAVE DTV SETS OUTSIDE OF STARR COUNTY, THEY WOULD WATCH THE COMPETING STATIONS IN BROWNSVILLE - HARLINGEN - MCALLEN - WESLACO), AND SUNBELT WOULD BE LEFT AS, IN EFFECT, A TINY LPTV STATION WITH BARELY ANY REVENUE, AND A MULTIMILLION DOLLAR DEBT.

INSTEAD OF SUCH A NIGHTMARE SCENARIO, THE PUBLIC INTEREST REQUIRES THAT SUNBELT BE GRANTED SOME FLEXIBILITY SO AS TO BE ABLE TO SERVE ITS PUBLIC WITHOUT INCURRING PROHIBITIVE COSTS.

Attachment 4