Local television stations in the Lewiston-Auburn and Portland areas plan to change their frequencies beginning Saturday, requiring TV owners who use antennas to receive free, over-the-air signals from local network affiliates to rescan those channels on their TVs, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC said more than 1,000 television stations have switched over or will be transitioning to new frequencies between now and July 2020. Viewers in the Lewiston-Auburn area may have already seen announcements being aired.

Television stations are changing their frequencies to make room for new 5G and other mobile broadband services. Nationwide, 13.9 percent, or 16.6 million households, watch TV exclusively over the air with an antenna.

The stations changing frequencies starting next weekend include: WGME (CBS13), WPME (Ion35) and WPFO (Fox23), according to the FCC.

Viewers who use antennas and want to continue watching those stations must rescan their televisions to retain those stations.

By rescanning, viewers who watch televisions using antennas will locate the stations at their new frequencies and might discover new channels in their broadcast area.


Television stations are changing frequencies on a rolling basis, so consumers will likely need to rescan their televisions more than once, according to the FCC. Most viewers do not need new devices, equipment or services to rescan their TVs.

Cable and satellite TV subscribers will not need to rescan.

According to directions distributed on behalf of the FCC, TV viewers looking to rescan must find the “Channel Scan,” “Channel Tuning” or “Auto Search” designations in the “Setup” or “Channel” menu of their digital televisions’ remote controls or analog televisions’ converter boxes. Once one finds the “Channel Scan” or “Channel Tuning” button, choose the “Automatic” option to rescan.

For further information, see www.fcc.gov/TVrescan  or call 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and press “6.”

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