ABC doesn’t get a lot of major events anymore, but the Oscars rate among the handful of key live events still held by the network. In this neck of the woods, you’d have to get ABC affiliate WDAZ on cable, or attempt to nab it over-the-air. Despite the fact that Grand Forks is the home city for DAZ, because its city of licence is still technically “Devils Lake”, its tower is way west of town.
The result is a weak signal that requires $70+ in antenna equipment and a clear view of the western horizon. Or in my case, $40 in antenna equipment and 20 minutes of setup before viewing. If only there was a way to get decent in-town reception of WDAZ. A DTS node at the top of WDAZ’s microwave tower would do the job nicely.
While WDAZ’s minimal effort in investing in OTA viewers is disappointing, it is also unlikely that they will reap any dividends in the 2016 spectrum auction. VHF spectrum like DAZ’s channel 8 is not all that desirable any more, as mobile devices and TV alike clamour for medium-UHF frequencies that strike a balance between small antenna size and good building penetration.
The big winner in North Dakota from the spectrum auction is likely to be the station flipper who currently owns KRDK (ex-KXJB, channel 38), which seems highly likely to shut down its minor tragedy of blank air and reruns with a big sack of cash from Verizon or Sprint. Depending on how much of the UHF band goes up for grabs, much the same may go for KNDB and KNDM — if they can get back on the air in time for the money to fly, that is. KCPM in Grand Forks is off the air again, BTW — after dabbling with a test pattern on 27.2.