TV Auction Success

Posted on January 31st, 2017 by

Yes. On January 18, 2017, the FCC’s Auction Dashboard boldly declared that forward auction bidders had committed to paying enough to trigger the final stage auction rule. There’s much to celebrate with that development, since we now know for certain that the incentive auction will officially end in the current stage four. Eighty-four Mhz of spectrum were cleared, which means that post-auction, after transitions are complete, TV stations will only exist on channels 2-36.

The forward auction is not yet over, but the FCC is already gearing up for the post-auction repack of stations to their new home territory. Full power and Class A stations should be looking for a confidential letter from the FCC by about mid-February. The letter will advise stations of their post-auction channels so that they can begin planning for any channel change. There will be much to do, and as the FCC’s two recent post-auction plan and scheduling procedure notices addressing post auction issues make clear, there will only be 39 months for the entire transition, and tight deadlines will apply during that time period.

Huddle your team, as there will be a little something for everyone as the post-auction transition gets started. The sounding gun will be the FCC’s Auction Closing and Reassignment Notice, expected to be issued in coming weeks.