List of North American broadcast station classes

Last updated

This is a list of broadcast station classes applicable in much of North America under international agreements between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Effective radiated power (ERP) and height above average terrain (HAAT) are listed unless otherwise noted.

Contents

All radio and television stations within 320 kilometers (about 200 miles) of the US-Canada or US-Mexico border must get approval by both the domestic and foreign agency. These agencies are Industry Canada/Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in Canada, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US, and the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) in Mexico.

AM

This diagram illustrates how the AM radio spectrum is classified in North America.
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Clear-channel; classes A, B and D
Regional; classes B and D
Local; classes B and C AM Radio Channel Types.svg
This diagram illustrates how the AM radio spectrum is classified in North America.
  Clear-channel; classes A, B and D
  Regional; classes B and D
  Local; classes B and C

Station class descriptions

All domestic (United States) AM stations are classified as A, B, C, or D. [1]

Notes:

Former system

AM station classes were previously assigned Roman numerals from I to IV in the US, with subclasses indicated by a letter suffix. Current class A is equivalent to the old class I; class B is the old classes II and III, with class D being the II-D, II-S, and III-S subclasses; and class C is the old class IV.

The following conversion table compares the old AM station classes with the new AM station classes:

Old Domestic Station ClassNew Domestic Station Class
IA
IIB
IIIB
IVC
II-SD
III-SD
II-D
(Daytime Only)
D

AM station classes and clear channels listed by frequency

The following chart lists frequencies on the broadcast company band, and which classes broadcast on these frequencies; Class A and Class B, 10,000 watt and higher (full-time) stations in North America which broadcast on clear-channel station frequencies are also shown.

By international agreement, Class A stations must be 10,000 watts and above, with a 50,000 watt maximum for the US and Canada, but no maximum for other governments in the region. Mexico, for example, typically runs 150,000 to 500,000 watts, but some stations are grandfathered at 10,000 to 20,000 watts at night; by treaty, these sub-50,000 watt Mexican stations may operate with a maximum of 100,000 watts during the daytime. [3]

Because the AM broadcast band developed before technology suitable for directional antennas, there are numerous exceptions, such as the US use of 800 (kHz) and 900 non-directionally in Alaska, limited to 5 kW at night; and 1050 and 1220, directionally, in the continental US, and without time limits; each of these being assigned to specific cities (and each of these being Mexican Class I-A clear channels). In return for these limits on US stations, Mexico accepted limits on 830 and 1030 in Mexico City, non-directionally, restricted to 5 kW at night (both of these being US Class I-A clear channels).

Channel
Type
Frequency
(kHz)
Available
Classes
Assignment
Old class designation in ()
530 In the US, reserved for low power
AM Travelers' Information Stations
Clear 540 A, B, D CBK Watrous, Saskatchewan: Class A (I-A)
CBT Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador: Class A (I-B)
XEWA San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí: Class A (I-A)
WFLF Pine Hills, Florida: Class B (II-B)
Regional 550 (A), B, D CMBV Wajay, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 500 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
Regional 560 B, D
Regional 570 (A), B, D CMEA Santa Clara, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
Regional 580 (A), B, D CMAA Pinar del Rio, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
KMJ Fresno, California Class B (III-A) 50 kW all hours; directional all hours
Regional 590 (A), B, D CMCA San Antonio Vegas, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 150 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
Regional 600 (A), B, D CMKA San German, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 150 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
Regional 610 B, D
Regional 620 (A), B, D CMDA Colon, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
Regional 630 (A), B, D CMHA Camaguey, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
Clear 640 A, B, D KFI Los Angeles, California: Class A (I-A)
KYUK Bethel, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
CBN St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador: Class A (I-B) NARBA grant: 10 kW non-directional all hours
Clear 650 A, B, D WSM Nashville, Tennessee: Class A (I-A)
KENI Anchorage, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
Clear 660 A, B, D WFAN New York City: Class A (I-A)
KFAR Fairbanks, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
KTNN Window Rock, Arizona: Class B (II-B)
CMDC Colon, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a US clear channel
Clear 670 A, B, D WSCR Chicago, Illinois: Class A (I-A)
KDLG Dillingham, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
KBOI Boise, Idaho: Class B (II-A)
CMBC Arroyo Arena, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 50 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a US clear channel
Clear 680 A, B, D KNBR San Francisco, California: Class A (I-B) ND-U
KBRW Barrow, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
WRKO Boston, Massachusetts: Class B (II-B)
WCBM Baltimore, Maryland: Class B (II-B)
WPTF Raleigh, North Carolina: Class B (II-B)
Clear 690 A, B, D CKGM Montreal, Quebec: Class A (I-A)
CBU Vancouver, British Columbia: Class B (II-B)
XEWW Tijuana, Baja California: Class A (I-B) NARBA grant: 50 kW, directional all hours; currently 77 kW days, 50 kW nights, directional all hours
WOKV Jacksonville, Florida: Class B (II-B)
CMEC Santa Clara, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 50 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a Canadian clear channel
Clear 700 A, B, D WLW Cincinnati, Ohio: Class A (I-A)
KBYR Anchorage, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
Clear 710 A, B, D WOR New York City: Class A (I-B)
KIRO Seattle, Washington: Class A (I-B)
KSPN Los Angeles, California: Class B (II-B)
WAQI Miami, Florida: Class B (II-B)
Clear 720 A, B, D WGN Chicago, Illinois: Class A (I-A)
KOTZ Kotzebue, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
KDWN Las Vegas, Nevada: Class B (II-A)
Clear 730 A, B, D CKAC Montreal, Quebec: Class A (II-B) ("Rio" grant: promotion to Class A)
XEX Mexico City: Class A (I-A)
CMHC Camaguey, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a Mexican clear channel
Clear 740 A, B, D CFZM Toronto, Ontario: Class A (I-A)
KCBS San Francisco, California: Class B (II-B) Formerly KQW San Jose, California
WYGM Orlando, Florida: Class B (II-B)
KRMG Tulsa, Oklahoma: Class B (II-B)
KTRH Houston, Texas: Class B (II-B)
CMAC Pinar del Rio, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a Canadian clear channel
Clear 750 A, B, D WSB Atlanta, Georgia: Class A (I-A)
KFQD Anchorage, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
CBGY Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador: Class A (I-B) (New station; Grandfathered at 10 kW)
KMMJ Grand Island, Nebraska: Class B (II-B)
KXTG Portland, Oregon: Class B (II-B)
Clear 760 A, B, D WJR Detroit, Michigan: Class A (I-A)
KGB San Diego, California: Class B (II-B)
CMKC Cacocun, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 75 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a US clear channel
Clear 770 A, B, D WABC New York City: Class A (I-A)
KKOB Albuquerque, New Mexico: Class B (II-A)
KCHU Valdez, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
KTTH Seattle, Washington: Class B (II-B)
Clear 780 A, B, D WBBM Chicago, Illinois: Class A (I-A)
KNOM Nome, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
KKOH Reno, Nevada: Class B (II-A)
Regional 790 (A), B, D CMAC Guanabacoba, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
Clear 800 A, B, D XEROK Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua: Class A (I-A)
CKLW Windsor, Ontario: Class B (II-B)
CMEB Santa Clara, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a Mexican clear channel
Clear 810 A, B, D KGO San Francisco, California: Class A (I-B)
WGY Schenectady, New York: Class A (I-B) ND-U, but KGO was the originally assigned dominant station
WHB Kansas City, Missouri: Class B (II-B)
WKVM San Juan, Puerto Rico: Class B (II-B)
Clear 820 A, B, D WBAP Fort Worth, Texas: Class A (I-A)
KCBF Fairbanks, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
Clear 830 A, B, D WCCO Minneapolis, Minnesota: Class A (I-A)
KLAA Orange, California: Class B (II-B)
XEITE Mexico City, Mexico: Class B (II-B) NARBA grant: 5 kW all hours; present operation 10 kW days, 5 kW nights
Clear 840 A, B, D WHAS Louisville, Kentucky: Class A (I-A)
KXNT North Las Vegas, Nevada: Class B (II-B)
Clear 850 A, B, D KOA Denver, Colorado: Class A (I-B) ND-U
KICY Nome, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
WEEI Boston, Massachusetts: Class B (II-B)
WTAR Norfolk, Virginia: Class B (II-B)
Clear 860 A, B, D CJBC Toronto, Ontario: Class A (I-A)
KTRB San Francisco, California: Class B (II-B) Presently operating at 7.5 kW nights
CMDB Colon, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a Canadian clear channel
Clear 870 A, B, D WWL New Orleans, Louisiana: Class A (I-A)
Clear 880 A, B, D WCBS New York City: Class A (I-A)
KRVN Lexington, Nebraska: Class B (II-A)
CMAB Pinar del Rio, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a US clear channel
Clear 890 A, B, D WLS Chicago, Illinois: Class A (I-A)
KBBI Homer, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
KDXU St. George, Utah: Class B (II-A)
CMHB Camaguey, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 30 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a US clear channel
Clear 900 A, B, D XEW Mexico City: Class A (I-A)
CKBI Prince Albert, Saskatchewan: Class A (II-B)
CMKB Cacocun, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 200 kW days, 50 kW nights; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a Mexican clear channel
Regional 910 (A), B, D CMAC Guanabacoba, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 75 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a regional channel
Regional 920 B, D
Regional 930 B, D
Clear 940 A, B, D CINW Montreal, Quebec: Class A (I-B)
XEQ Mexico City: Class A (I-B) ND-U
KFIG Fresno, California: Class B (II-B)
Regional 950 B, D KJR Seattle, Washington Class B (II-B) 50 kW all hours; directional all hours
WWJ Detroit, Michigan: Class B (II-B) 50 kW all hours; directional all hours
Regional 960 B, D
Regional 970 B, D
Regional 980 A (only CKNW), B, D CKNW New Westminster, British Columbia: Class A
Clear 990 A, B, D CBW Winnipeg, Manitoba: Class A (I-A)
CBY Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador: Class A (I-B)
WTLN Orlando, Florida: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1000 A, B, D WMVP Chicago, Illinois: Class A (I-B)
KOMO Seattle, Washington: Class A (I-B)
XEOY Mexico City, Mexico: Class A (I-B) NARBA grant: 10 kW all hours; present operation 50 kW days, 10 kW nights
Clear 1010 A, B, D CBR Calgary, Alberta: Class A (I-A)
CFRB Toronto, Ontario: Class A (II-B) (Class II-B promoted to Class A)
WINS New York City: Class B (II-B)
CMBX Wajay, Cuba: Class A "Rio" grant: 500 kW all hours; special grant of a Cuban Class A on a Canadian clear channel
Clear 1020 A, B, D KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Class A (I-A)
KVNT Eagle River, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
KCKN Roswell, New Mexico: Class B (II-A)
KTNQ Los Angeles, California: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1030 A, B, D WBZ Boston, Massachusetts: Class A (I-A)
KTWO Casper, Wyoming: Class B (II-A)
XEQR Mexico City, Mexico: Class B (II-B) NARBA grant: 5 kW all hours; present operation 50 kW days, 5 kW nights
Clear 1040 A, B, D WHO Des Moines, Iowa: Class A (I-A)
Clear 1050 A, B, D CHUM Toronto, Ontario: Class B (II-B)
XEG Monterrey, Nuevo León: Class A (I-A)
WEPN New York City: Class B (II-B) NARBA grant: 50 kW all hours, directional all hours; present operation: same
Clear 1060 A, B, D KYW Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Class A (I-B)
XEEP Mexico City: Class A (I-B) NARBA grant: 20 kW all hours; present operation 50 kW days, 20 kW nights
Clear 1070 A, B, D KNX Los Angeles, California: Class A (I-B) ND-U
CBA Moncton, New Brunswick: Class A (I-B) ND-U (Silent)
Clear 1080 A, B, D WTIC Hartford, Connecticut: Class A (I-B)
KRLD Dallas, Texas: Class A (I-B)
KOAN Anchorage, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
KFXX Portland, Oregon: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1090 A, B, D KAAY Little Rock, Arkansas: Class A (I-B)
WBAL Baltimore, Maryland: Class A (I-B)
XEPRS Rosarito Beach, Baja California: Class A (I-B)
KFNQ Seattle, Washington: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1100 A, B, D WTAM Cleveland, Ohio: Class A (I-A)
KNZZ Grand Junction, Colorado: Class B (II-A)
KFAX San Francisco, California: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1110 A, B, D WBT Charlotte, North Carolina: Class A (I-B)
KFAB Omaha, Nebraska: Class A (I-B)
KRDC Pasadena, California: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1120 A, B, D KMOX St. Louis, Missouri: Class A (I-A)
KPNW Eugene, Oregon: Class B (II-A)
Clear 1130 A, B, D KWKH Shreveport, Louisiana: Class A (I-B)
WBBR New York City: Class A (I-B)
CKWX Vancouver, British Columbia: Class A (I-B)
KTLK Minneapolis, Minnesota: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1140 A, B, D WRVA Richmond, Virginia: Class A (I-B)
XEMR Apodaca, Nuevo León: Class A (I-B)
KHTK Sacramento, California: Class B (II-B)
Regional 1150 B, D
Clear 1160 A, B, D KSL Salt Lake City, Utah: Class A (I-A)
WYLL Chicago, Illinois: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1170 A, B, D KFAQ Tulsa, Oklahoma: Class A (I-B)
WWVA Wheeling, West Virginia: Class A (I-B)
KJNP North Pole, Alaska: Class A (I-N)
Clear 1180 A, B, D WHAM Rochester, New York: Class A (I-A)
KOFI Kalispell, Montana: Class B (II-A)
Clear 1190 A, B, D KEX Portland, Oregon: Class A (I-B)
WOWO Fort Wayne, Indiana: Class B (I-B) Former I-B downgraded to Class B by licensee's request; 9.8 kW nights
WLIB New York City: Class B (II-B) 10 kW days, 30 kW nights
XEWK-AM Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico: Class A (I-B) NARBA grant: 10 kW all hours; present operation 50 kW days, 10 kW nights
Clear 1200 A, B, D WOAI San Antonio, Texas: Class A (I-A)
WMUZ Taylor, Michigan: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1210 A, B, D WPHT Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Class A (I-A)
KGYN Guymon, Oklahoma: Class B (II-A)
Clear 1220 A, B, D XEB Mexico City: Class A (I-A)
WHKW Cleveland, Ohio: Class B (II-B) NARBA grant: 50 kW all hours, directional all hours; present operation: same
Regional 1230 BStations in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands
Local 1230 CStations in conterminous 48 states
Regional 1240 BStations in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands
Local1240CStations in conterminous 48 states
Regional 1250 B, D
Regional 1260 B, D CFRN Edmonton, Alberta: Class A (III-B) Class III-B promoted to Class A, but operating on a Class III frequency
Regional 1270 B, D
Regional 1280 B, D
Regional 1290 B, D
Regional 1300 B, D
Regional 1310 B, D
Regional 1320 B, D
Regional 1330 B, D
Regional 1340 BStations in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands
Local1340CStations in conterminous 48 states
Regional 1350 B, D
Regional 1360 B, D
Regional 1370 B, D
Regional 1380 B, D KRKO Everett, Washington Class B (III-A) 50 kW all hours; directional nights
Regional 1390 B, D
Regional 1400 BStations in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands
Local1400CStations in conterminous 48 states
Regional 1410 B, D
Regional 1420 B, D
Regional 1430 B, D
Regional 1440 B, D
Regional 1450 BStations in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands
Local1450CStations in conterminous 48 states
Regional 1460 B, D
Regional 1470 B, D
Regional 1480 B, D
Regional 1490 BStations in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands
Local1490CStations in conterminous 48 states
Clear 1500 A, B, D WFED Washington, D.C.: Class A (I-B)
KSTP Saint Paul, Minnesota: Class A (I-B)
Clear 1510 A, B, D WLAC Nashville, Tennessee: Class A (I-B)
WMEX Boston, Massachusetts: Class B (II-B) downgraded to 10 kW days, 100 watts nights, non-directional at all times
KGA Spokane, Washington: Class B (I-B) Former I-B downgraded to Class B by licensee's request; 15 kW nights
Clear 1520 A, B, D WWKB Buffalo, New York: Class A (I-B)
KOKC Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Class A (I-B)
KQRR Oregon City, Oregon: Class B (II-B)
KKXA Snohomish, Washington Class B (II-B) 50 kW all hours; directional all hours
Clear 1530 A, B, D KFBK Sacramento, California: Class A (I-B)
WCKY Cincinnati, Ohio: Class A (I-B)
Clear 1540 A, B, D KXEL Waterloo, Iowa: Class A (I-B)
ZNS-1 Nassau, Bahamas: Class A (I-A)
KMPC Los Angeles, California: Class B (II-B)
Clear 1550 A, B, D XERUV Xalapa, Veracruz: Class A (I-B) NARBA grant: 10 kW non-directional
CBEF Windsor, Ontario: Class A (I-B) NARBA grant: 10 kW directional all hours
KKOV Vancouver, Washington: Class B (II-B)
Clear1560A, B, D KNZR Bakersfield, California: Class A (I-B) Only US Class A grandfathered at 10 kW nights, increased daytime power to 25 kW
WFME New York City: Class A (I-B)
Clear 1570 A, B, D XERF Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila: Class A (I-A) NARBA grant: 250 kW, now operating at 100 kW
Clear 1580 A, B, D CKDO Oshawa, Ontario: Class A (I-A) operating at 10 kW
KBLA Santa Monica, California: Class B (II-B)
Regional 1590 B, D
Regional 1600 B, D
Regional (Expanded) 1610 In the US, used solely by low power
AM Travelers' Information Stations.
Regional (Expanded) 1620 B
Regional (Expanded) 1630 B
Regional (Expanded) 1640 B
Regional (Expanded) 1650 B
Regional (Expanded) 1660 B
Regional (Expanded) 1670 B
Regional (Expanded) 1680 B
Regional (Expanded) 1690 B
Regional (Expanded) 1700 B

FM

[4]

Station class description

ClassEffective Radiated Power (ERP, calculated using transmitter power and antenna HAAT)Antenna Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT)Reference distance
C100 kW (or higher for grandfathered stations)300 m to 600 m91.8 km
C0100 kW300 m to 450 m83.4 km
C1up to 100 kWunder 300 m72.3 km
C2up to 50 kWup to 150 m52.2 km
C3up to 25 kWup to 100 m39.1 km
C4 (US rulemaking)up to 12 kWup to 100 m33.3 km
Bup to 50 kWup to 150 m65.1 km
B1up to 25 kWup to 100 m44.7 km
A100 W to 6 kW (3 kW in Mexico)up to 100 m28.3 km (24 km in Mexico)
AA (Mexico) [5] up to 6 kW (the former limit for A)up to 100 m28 km
Dup to 250 W ERP except US non-translators to 10W TPO
up to 50 W (Mexico)
unlimited
up to 45 m (Mexico)
unspecified
5 km (Mexico)
L1 (US, also LP100)50 W to 100 Wup to 30 m5.6 km
L2 (US, also LP10)1 W to 10 Wup to 30 m3.2 km
LP (Canada)10-50 W
VLP (Canada)up to 10 W
unlicensed signal strength of 250 µV/m (US), 100 µV/m (Canada)unspecifiedmeasured at 3 m (US), 30 m (Canada)

Notes:

The following table lists the various classes of FM stations, the reference facilities for each station class, and the protected and city grade contours for each station class: [6]

FM station
class
Reference
(maximum)
facilities for
station class
(ERP / HAAT)
FM
protected
or primary
service
contour
Distance to
protected or
primary
service
contour
Distance to 70
dBu city-grade
or principal
community
coverage
contour
Class A6 kW
100 m (328 ft)
60 dBu (1.0mV/m)28.3 km (17.6 mi)16.2 km (10.1 mi)
Class B125 kW
100 m (328 ft)
57 dBu (0.7mV/m)44.7 km (27.8 mi)23.2 km (14.4 mi)
Class B50 kW
150 m (492 ft)
54 dBu (0.5mV/m)65.1 km (40.5 mi)32.6 km (20.3 mi)
Class C325 kW
100 m (328 ft)
60 dBu (1.0mV/m)39.1 km (24.3 mi)23.2 km (14.4 mi)
Class C250 kW
150 m (492 ft)
60 dBu (1.0mV/m)52.2 km (32.4 mi)32.6 km (20.3 mi)
Class C1100 kW
299 m (981 ft)
60 dBu (1.0mV/m)72.3 km (44.9 mi)50.0 km (31.1 mi)
Class C0100 kW
450 m (1,476 ft)
60 dBu (1.0mV/m)83.4 km (51.8 mi)59.0 km (36.7 mi)
Class C100 kW
600 m (1,969 ft)
60 dBu (1.0mV/m)91.8 km (57.0 mi)67.7 km (42.1 mi)

Historically, there were local "Class A" frequencies (like AM radio's class C stations) to which only class A stations would be allocated & the other frequencies could not have a class A. According to the 1982 FCC rules & regulations, those frequencies were: 92.1, 92.7, 93.5, 94.3, 95.3, 95.9, 96.7, 97.7, 98.3, 99.3, 100.1, 100.9, 101.7, 102.3, 103.1, 103.9, 104.9, 105.5, 106.3 & 107.1. Stations on those twenty frequencies were limited to having equivalent signals no greater that 3KW at 300 feet above average terrain.

FM zones

FM broadcast zones in the US US FM broadcast zones.png
FM broadcast zones in the US

The US is divided into three zones for FM broadcasting: I, I-A and II. The zone where a station is located may limit the choices of broadcast class available to a given FM station.

Zone I in the US includes all of Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. It also includes the areas south of latitude 43.5°N in Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont; as well as coastal Maine, southeastern Wisconsin, and northern and eastern Virginia.

Zone I-A includes California south of 40°N, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Zone II includes the remainder of the continental US, plus Alaska and Hawaii.

In Zones I and I-A, there are no Class C, C0, or C1 stations. However, there are a few Class B stations with grandfathered power limits in excess of 50 KW, such as WETA (licensed for Washington DC in zone I, at a power of 75 kW ERP), WNCI (Columbus, Ohio in zone I, at 175 kW ERP), KPFK (Los Angeles in zone I-A, at 110 KW ERP), and the most extreme example being WBCT (Grand Rapids, Michigan, in zone I, at 320  kW ERP).

TV

Full-power stations in the US

Notes:

All full-power analog television station transmissions in the US were terminated at midnight Eastern Daylight Time on June 12, 2009. [7] [8] Many broadcasters replaced their analog signal with their digital ATSC signal on the same transmission channel at that time.

Full-power stations in Canada

Notes:

Low-power TV (US)

LPTV (secondary) (suffix: -LP, or a sequential-numbered callsign in format W##XX with no suffix for analog or with -D suffix for digital, or -LD for low-power digital stations):

The LPTV (low-power television) service was created in 1982 by the FCC to allocate channels for smaller, local stations, and community channels, such as public access stations. LPTV stations that meet additional requirements such as children's "E/I" core programming and Emergency Alert System broadcasting capabilities can qualify for a Class A (-CA) license. [12]

Broadcast translators, boosters, and other LPTV stations are considered secondary to full-power stations, unless they have upgraded to class A. Class A is still considered LPTV with respect to stations in Canada and Mexico.

Class A television (US)

Class-A stations (US) (suffix: -CA or -CD for digital class A):

  • VHF: 3 kW analog video; 3 kW digital
  • UHF: 150 kW analog video; 15 kW digital

The class-A television class is a variant of LPTV created in 2000 by the FCC to allocate and protect some low-power affiliates. Class-A stations are still low-power, but are protected from RF interference and from having to change channel should a full-service station request that channel. [13]

Additionally, class-A stations, LPTV stations, and translators are the only stations currently authorized to broadcast both analog and digital signals, unlike full-power stations which must broadcast a digital signal only.

Low-power TV (Canada)

In Canada, there is no formal transmission power below which, a television transmitter is considered broadcasting at low power. Industry Canada considers that a low power digital television undertaking "shall not normally extend a distance of 20 km in any direction from the antenna site," based on the determined noise-limited bounding contour. [14]

Mexico

All digital television stations in Mexico have -TDT callsign suffixes. Analog stations, which existed until December 31, 2016, had -TV callsign suffixes.

The equivalent of low power or translator service in Mexico is the equipo complementario de zona de sombra, which is intended only to fill in gaps between a station's expected and actual service area caused by terrain; a station of this type shares the callsign of another station. In analog, these services often were broadcast on the same or adjacent channels to their parent station, except in certain areas with tight packing of television stations (such as central Mexico). In digital, these services usually operate on the same RF channel as their parent station, except for those with conflicting full-power applications (XHBS-TDT Cd. Obregón, Son., channel 30 instead of 25), in certain other cases where it is technically not feasible (XHAW-TDT Guadalupe, NL, channel 26 instead of 25) or to make way for eventual repacking on upper UHF (XHPNW-TDT has four shadows on 33, its post-repacking channel, instead of 39).

Equipos complementarios can relay their parent station, or a station that carries 75% or more of the same programming as its parent station. [15]

Stations of either type may have unusually low or high effective radiated powers. XHSMI-TDT in Oaxaca is licensed for two watts in digital. The highest-powered shadows are XEQ-TDT Toluca and XHBS-TDT Ciudad Obregón, both at 200 kW.

FCC service table

The United States Federal Communications Commission lists the following services on their website for television broadcasting:

Broadcast classServiceSuffixes used or call sign examples
Television allotment (analog)TAAn allocation of a frequency to a city of license for which no corresponding call sign or license has been assigned. FCC placeholder for possible future construction permits or frequencies allocated to non-US broadcast use. No call sign, identifier is a date (yymmdd) followed by a sequential two-letter value in the US FCC database.
Full-service TV (analog)TV-TV or none (such as "WABC-TV" and "WMYD") Since the shutdown of all full power analog stations in June 2009, used only for historical records.
Class A (analog)CA-CA, or a translator-style call sign (such as "KTFB-CA")
Low-power station (analog) or translatorLP-LP, or a translator-style call sign (such as "KDMD-LP", "WRME-LP", and "K13IO" with the 2 digits denoting the channel of operation)
TV boosters TBRare. These use the parent station's call sign plus a sequential number, such as WSTE1, WSTE2, WSTE3. Nameplates for on-channel repeaters bear the parent station's call sign, followed by "booster". [16] See distributed transmission. If the station is digital, and has on-channel boosters, they would typically be named WSTE-DT1, WSTE-DT2, WSTE-DT3 and so on.
TV auxiliary (analog backup) serviceTSno specific suffix (uses same call sign as main transmitter)
NTSC (analog) petition for a channel changeNNno specific suffix; uses same call sign as the station which made a request for a number/channel change (for NTSC/analog stations, and low-power repeaters, such as those registered as TX).
Digital Television
(full power)
DT-DT, -TV or none (such as KGLA-DT, WSKY-TV or KOHD). Some stations formerly used -HD, but this has become obsolete (though it may sometimes still be seen identifying the station's main subchannel in a PSIP listing). The -DT suffix, optional for digital-only stations, was used primarily to distinguish a DTV transmission from an analog signal of the same broadcast (or is seen identifying the main subchannel of a station on a PSIP display); likewise, -TV is optional except if the eponymous radio stations exist. A similar suffix -DTV, is used on all television stations in Japan.
Digital Class-ACD-CD(such as "WDNI-CD" and "WYYW-CD") Some stations briefly used -DC as well (this has since become obsolete). A scant few still use translator-style call signs with the -D suffix (such as "K36ID-D").
Digital Low-powerLD-LD or translator-style calls with -D suffix (such as "WBND-LD" and "W25AA-D"), occasionally no suffix (uses same call sign as main transmitter). Some stations briefly used -DL as well (this has since become obsolete). Some full-powered stations (such as WOIO, WXMI and WLS-TV) have been granted approval for fill-in translators within their broadcast market to better cover outlying towns or heavily urbanied areas, particularly by stations with a VHF digital signal. These are technically -LD stations, but have the same call-sign as their parent station (such as WLS-TV or WOIO, and not as WLS-LD or WOIO-LD, though they could be considered as such for ease of differentiating the low-power repeater from its parent), similar to a Distributed Transmission System (but on different frequencies).
Digital special temporary authority (STA)DSno specific suffix; uses same call sign as station making a request for permission from the FCC to use a channel, power level or transmitter location not permanently allocated for one particular station. Temporary assignments retain, unmodified, the call sign of the corresponding permanent allocation; this includes translator-style calls (a format, such as W55 ZZ-D, based on RF channel number plus a sequential identifier) even on those temporarily moving to another frequency.
Digital Television distributed transmission system (multiple transmitter sites)DDno specific suffix (uses same call sign as main transmitter); this is usually requested for a single-frequency network and to tailor coverage area to the needs of the viewers in the station's service area (such as covering towns and farmland, and not mountainous terrain or the ocean)
Digital auxiliary (backup) serviceDX
(not to be confused with DXing)
no specific suffix (uses same call sign as main transmitter)
Digital rulemaking petitionDRno specific suffix; uses same call sign as station making this request to add or modify a digital channel allocation
Land mobile use of a TV channel (TV RF channels 14-20 only)LMAs "LM" is used in the FCC database to indicate reallocation of an entire channel, but not to identify individual users transmitting in that spectrum, a 6 MHz LM allocation does not itself carry a TV-style call sign. The spectrum of TV channels 14-20 is called "T-band" in LMR use. [17] Repeaters that operate in such an allocation use a 3 MHz offset instead of 5 MHz as normally used in the 450-470 MHz range.
ATSC 3.0 Futurecast Experimental BroadcastsEXUsed for officially licensed experimental 4K/2160p Ultra HDTV broadcast stations, such as WRAL-TV's UHDTV simulcast, WRAL-EX.

See also

Related Research Articles

Very high frequency The range 30-300 MHz of the electromagnetic spectrum

Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz), with corresponding wavelengths of ten meters to one meter. Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted high frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as ultra high frequency (UHF).

A clear-channel station is an AM radio station in North America that has the highest protection from interference from other stations, particularly concerning night-time skywave propagation. The system exists to ensure the viability of cross-country or cross-continent radio service, and is enforced through a series of treaties and statutory laws. Now known as Class A stations since 1982, they are occasionally still referred to by their former classifications of Class I-A, Class I-B, or Class I-N. The term "clear-channel" is used most often in the context of North America and the Caribbean, where the concept originated.

Low-power broadcasting Type of broadcasting station

Low-power broadcasting is broadcasting by a broadcast station at a low electric power to a smaller service area than "full power" stations within the same region. It is often distinguished from "micropower broadcasting" and broadcast translators. LPAM, LPFM and LPTV are in various levels of use across the world, varying widely based on the laws and their enforcement.

Height above average terrain Height based on large area surrounding object; often used in U.S. for antenna towers

Height above average terrain (HAAT), or effective height above average terrain (EHAAT), is the vertical position of an antenna site is above the surrounding landscape. HAAT is used extensively in FM radio and television, as it is more important than effective radiated power (ERP) in determining the range of broadcasts. For international coordination, it is officially measured in meters, even by the Federal Communications Commission in the United States, as Canada and Mexico have extensive border zones where stations can be received on either side of the international boundaries. Stations that want to increase above a certain HAAT must reduce their power accordingly, based on the maximum distance their station class is allowed to cover.

The FM broadcast band is a range of radio frequencies used for FM broadcasting by radio stations. The range of frequencies used differs between different parts of the world. In Europe and Africa and in Australia, it spans from 87.5 to 108 megahertz (MHz) - also known as VHF Band II - while in the Americas it ranges from 88 to 108 MHz. The FM broadcast band in Japan and Brazil uses 76 to 95 MHz. The International Radio and Television Organisation (OIRT) band in Eastern Europe is from 65.9 to 74.0 MHz, although these countries now primarily use the 87.5 to 108 MHz band, as in the case of Russia. Some other countries have already discontinued the OIRT band and have changed to the 87.5 to 108 MHz band.

WSKC-CD, UHF digital channel 14, is a low-powered KBS World-affiliated television station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The station is owned by KM LPTV of Atlanta, LLC.

WDTA-LD, virtual and UHF digital channel 35, is a low-powered Daystar owned-and-operated television station licensed Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The station is owned by the Word of God Fellowship. The station's transmitter is located in SunTrust Plaza in downtown Atlanta. The office is located with WPXA-TV next to Six Flags White Water on Cobb Parkway in Marietta, and it uses a wireless studio/transmitter link.

KPDF-CD, virtual channel 41, is a low-powered, Class A Canal de la Fe-affiliated television station in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The station is owned by HC2 Holdings, and is carried on several cable systems in the Phoenix area.

WUDL-LD, virtual channel 19, is a low-powered television station licensed to Detroit, Michigan, United States. The station is owned by the DTV America subsidiary of HC2 Holdings. The station's transmitter is located in Oak Park, Michigan at a power of 10 kilowatts. It formerly broadcast on UHF 47 at 2.7 kW with a northerly-aimed directional antenna to protect adjacent-channel WMNT-CD in Toledo, Ohio, from a tower located at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

KFTU-DT UniMás TV station in Douglas, Arizona

KFTU-DT, virtual channel 3, is a UniMás owned-and-operated television station serving Tucson, Arizona, United States that is licensed to Douglas. The station is owned by the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications, as part of a duopoly with Green Valley-licensed Univision owned-and-operated station KUVE-DT. The two stations share studios on Forbes Boulevard in Tucson; KFTU's transmitter is located on Juniper Flats Road northwest of Bisbee.

KBNT-CD Univision affiliate in San Diego

KBNT-CD, virtual channel 17, is a low-powered, Class A Univision-affiliated television station licensed to San Diego, California, United States. Owned by Entravision Communications, it is a sister station to UniMás affiliate KDTF-LD, Azteca América affiliate XHAS-TDT, and Milenio Televisión affiliate XHDTV-TDT. The latter two stations are owned by Mexican-based Televisora Alco, which is 40% owned by Entravision. All four stations share studios on Ruffin Road in San Diego's Kearny Mesa section; KBNT-CD's transmitter is located on Mount Soledad in La Jolla.

WYGA-CD, virtual channel 16, is a low-powered, Class A beIN Sports Xtra-affiliated television station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The station is owned by HC2 Holdings and licensed to HC2 LPTV Holdings.

The class A television service is a system for regulating some low-power television (LPTV) stations in the United States. Class A stations are denoted by the broadcast callsign suffix "-CA" (analog) or "-CD" (digital), although very many analog -CA stations have a digital companion channel that was assigned the -LD suffix used by regular (non-class-A) digital LPTV stations.

Channel 37 is an intentionally unused ultra-high frequency (UHF) television broadcasting channel in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and some of Eurasian region. The frequency range allocated to this channel is important for radio astronomy, so broadcasting is not licensed.

WLCU-CD, virtual channel 4, a low-powered, Class A educational independent television station licensed to Campbellsville, Kentucky, United States. The station is owned by Campbellsville University. It airs religious services as well as local sports, music, and public affairs programming. On cable, the station is mostly carried on channel 22 in the Campbellsville area.

WELL-HD is a low-power, evangelical Christian television station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It broadcasts locally in digital on UHF channel 29 as a Daystar owned-and-operated station.

W26EW-D, virtual and UHF digital channel 26, is a low-powered HSN-affiliated television station licensed to Huntington, West Virginia, United States. The signal covers all of Huntington, and also can reach parts of Ashland, Kentucky and Ironton, Ohio.

Broadcast relay station Repeater transmitter

A broadcast relay station, also known as a satellite station, relay transmitter, broadcast translator (U.S.), re-broadcaster (Canada), repeater or complementary station (Mexico), is a broadcast transmitter which repeats the signal of a radio or television station to an area not covered by the originating station. It expands the broadcast range of a television or radio station beyond the primary signal's original coverage or improves service in the original coverage area. The stations may be used to create a single-frequency network. They may also be used by an AM or FM radio station to establish a presence on the other band.

A border blaster is a broadcast station that, though not licensed as an external service, is, in practice, used to target another country. The term "border blaster" is of North American origin, and usually associated with Mexican AM stations whose broadcast areas cover large parts of the United States and United States border AM stations covering large parts of Canada. Conceptually similar European broadcasting included some pre-World War II broadcasting towards the United Kingdom, "radio périphérique" around France and the U.S. government-funded station Radio Free Europe, targeting eastern Europe.

WIIW-LP, UHF digital channel 29, was a low-powered independent television station licensed to Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The station was owned by U.S. Television.

References

  1. "AM Station Classes, and Clear, Regional, and Local Channels". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. 11 December 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  2. "Industry Canada Broadcasting Database". Archived from the original on 2013-12-07. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  3. "Clear Channel Stations". www.oldradio.com.
  4. "FM Broadcast Station Classes and Service Contours". fcc.gov. 11 December 2015.
  5. IFT: Disposición Técnica IFT-002-2016 "Especificaciones y requerimientos para la instalación y operación de las estaciones de radiodifusión sonora en frecuencia modulada en la banda de 88 a 108 MHz" is the current document that defines FM station classes and operating parameters in Mexico.
  6. "FM Broadcast Station Classes and Service Contours". FCC. Federal Communications Commission. 11 December 2015. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2018. See Talk page.
  7. A New Era in Television Broadcasting Archived 2007-11-23 at the Wayback Machine - DTVTransition.org
  8. "Congress delays DTV switch". Christian Science Monitor. 4 February 2009.
  9. - FCC DA-09-1253
  10. Searching for the -DT suffix returns only 91 stations; -TV returns 903, searching for TV stations with no suffix at all returns 1,827. Searches conducted 29 Jan 2011.
  11. - FCC regulation 73.1560(c)(2)
  12. "Low Power Television (LPTV) Service". fcc.gov. 17 May 2011.
  13. "Part 10: Application and Procedures and Rules for Digital Television (DTV) Undertakings" (PDF). ic.gc.ca.
  14. IFT: Disposición Técnica IFT-013-2016 "Especificaciones y requerimientos mínimos para la instalación y operación de estaciones de televisión, equipos auxiliares y equipos complementarios", which became effective on January 1, 2017, provides the guidelines for the operation of digital television stations and their shadows.
  15. "US CFR 47 Part 74G - 74.733 UHF translator signal boosters". gpoaccess.gov. Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
  16. "TV Query Results -- Video Division (FCC) USA". www.fcc.gov.