Incentive Auction Officially Closes; Announcement on Bid Results Expected by Mid-April

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPPatrick S. Campbell

Capping an historic, year-long process that began with voluntary commitments by broadcasters to relinquish their channels to the wireless industry, the FCC’s incentive auction ended yesterday with the conclusion of the assignment phase, which added $136 million in gross bids to bring the forward auction total to nearly $19.8 billion. At the end of the incentive auction process, the FCC was able to clear 84 MHz of relinquished broadcast television spectrum, out of which 70 MHz was sold to wireless industry bidders during the forward auction. (The remaining 14 MHz will be reserved for unlicensed use.)

In a statement on the FCC’s auction website, the agency confirmed that it will “release the Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice in a few weeks” that notice will announce the results of the reverse and forward auctions and “provide important information, reminders and details regarding post-auction procedures and the obligations of successful bidders.” The release of that notice will also trigger the start of the 39-month spectrum transition and channel repacking period for broadcasters that remain on the air. By the close of business today, the FCC said it would also issue a document specifying the formats of the reverse and forward auction results files which will depict roundby-round results, bidder identities, etc. and will be released through the FCC’s online Public Reporting System on the day after the Incentive Auction closing notice is issued.

Congratulating the FCC on a successful auction process, National Association of Broadcasters executive vice president Dennis Wharton declared: “we look forward to working on a bipartisan basis with policymakers on a seamless transition for our tens of millions of TV viewers.” As Competitive Carriers Association CEO Steve Berry applauded the end of the incentive auction as “an important step in reallocating spectrum to expand mobile broadband in rural areas,” Scott Bergman, the vice president of regulatory affairs for wireless association CTIA said: “we now need to roll out our sleeves and work toward a smooth and timely transition that will allow wireless providers to deliver new services.”

Comments are closed.


Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.


The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance