Forward Auction Gears Up For Stage 4


Come Wednesday morning, wireless services companies will be back in action and bidding for broadcast TV spectrum in Stage 4 of the FCC’s forward auction.

What’s uncertain is if this stage of the forward auction will make it to Thursday.

The FCC on Jan. 4 announced the bidding schedule for the remainder of Stage 4 of the reverse auction. As it looks, bidding is set to conclude tomorrow (1/13).

On Tuesday, following the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday, the FCC will reveal the exact start date and initial bidding schedule for the next stage of the forward auction.

However, Jan. 18 is the date that the Commission expects to be set, and forward auction bidders are being asked to prepare for bidding to start at 10 a.m. that day.

The third stage of the FCC’s Forward Auction failed to make it to the afternoon of Dec. 5, with just one paltry round of bidding seen over 120 minutes.

That’s because bidders weren’t willing to plunk down more than $477 million for a chunk of spectrum in New York, nor were they interested in a slice of spectrum in Los Angeles going for a clock price of $407,914,000, with an opening round price of $388,489,000.

The result of Stage 3 bidding in the FCC Forward Auction:  $19,676,240,520.

The new clearing target and clearing cost are expected to be formally announced Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Incentive Auction and Task Force and Media Bureau has released a transition progress report form and filing requirements for stations eligible for reimbursement from the TV broadcast relocation fund and seek comment on the filing of the report by non-reimbursable stations.

Comments in MB Docket No. 16-306/GN Docket No. 12-268 are due Jan. 25, and reply comments are due Feb. 6.

This Public Notice (click on link below) describes the information that must be provided in the periodic progress reports the Commission requires broadcast television stations that are eligible to receive payment of relocation expenses from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund (Reimbursement Fund) to file during the 39-month post-incentive auction transition period. It also describes when and how the progress reports must be filed.