January 12, 2012 18:00, is the deadline for any eligible station (including WBNF-CA 15) to file with the FCC if they wish to participate in this year's Reverse Auction.
This auction will allow eligible stations to sell back their frequencies to the government in exchange for cash with the ability to share their signal with another station. For example, WBBZ could sell back its frequency VHF 7 (as the Buffalo News reported earlier owner Phil Arno was contemplating) and either completely end over-the air transmissions but be guaranteed cable coverage as the must carry rule would be in effect, or WBBZ could pay another station, Tegna's WGRZ, to carry its programming on the channel 33 frequency. It will be technically possible to broadcast both stations' programming on a single frequency but on different virtual channels, 2 & 67, with the new ATSC 3.0 system coming circa 2018; a new TV set would be required. [see page 7 of the below link]
In this scenario, this would open up the VHF 7 frequency for any of the remaining Buffalo stations broadcasting above the clearing channel threshold, would vary market to market as to their needs by population size. [see page 26 of the below link]
Assuming that the Buffalo market would require an 84 MHz reduction of television spectrum, channels broadcasting above channel 37 would be required to relocate in available frequencies below channel 37.
In Buffalo, channels affected are WKBW-38, WIVB-39, WNED-43, and WNYO-49. Buffalo channels 35-WVTT-CD, 30-W30BW, 17-WBXZ-LP and 39-WDTB-LP are not guaranteed spectrum after the repacking.
After the final list of sold spectrum is determined, the U.S, Canadian and Mexican governments will begin negotiating for a new table of allotments to (i) provide more tv spectrum for U.S. border markets and (ii) avoid conflicts such as CHCH and WBNF-CA. [see page 28 of the below link][Link: wireless.fcc.gov]