Forward Auction Finishes At $19.6 Billion

The FCC announced last week that the forward auction has ended with $19.6 billion raised. Of this total, broadcasters will receive about $10 billion, with $1.75 billion going to broadcasters that incur costs in repacking and moving to a difference channel in the post-auction spectrum channel reassignment. More than $6 billion will go to the U.S. Treasury for deficit reduction.

The auction resulted in 84 megahertz of TV spectrum being repurposed for broadband use.

According to the FCC, the agency will prepare a Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice announcing the formal close of the incentive auction and providing information about the winning bidders and the post-auction TV band, including:

  • The results of the reverse auction, including the winning stations, the markets they serve, their incentive payments, their successful bidding option (moving off-air or to a different band), and whether they indicated an intent to channel share.
  • The results of the forward auction, including the winning bidders, the prices paid, and the specific frequencies they won in the assignment phase. The public notice will set the deadline by which winning bidders will then file “long form” applications to apply for licenses to operate on those frequencies.
  • The post-auction channel assignments for all reverse auction-eligible stations who will remain on the air after the auction.
  • The date by which each station must transition off its pre-auction channel.

The release of the Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice also marks the start of the 39-month transition for stations that are required to move.