Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Battle for the Band: AM IBOC Under Siege

Nighttime Hash Complaints Slow Deployment & Operation of HD on AM Band, Raise Doubts About Success

by Guy Wire, 12.05.2007

The interference fallout of full-time AM HD operations has been scattered and largely anecdotal. According to reports in RW, only one formal complaint has been filed as of this writing. By the time you read this, there likely will be others.

The AM HD rollout has attracted only about 225 licensed stations, mainly the wide-area coverage powerhouses and stations that also bought in early to the promise of 15 kHz stereo. About 175 are operational daytime while less than 70 are thought to be operating at night. That’s less than 2 percent of the total inventory of U.S. AM stations.

Citadel/ABC has kept its AM HD flamethrowers like WABC, WJR and WBAP analog only at night while Cox is still choosing to keep all its AM stations’ IBOC exciters turned off full-time. Clear Channel and CBS still have the majority of their AM stations unequipped for HD.

Many think the handwriting is on the wall and AM HD is in deep trouble.