AWS-3: Auction Edges Toward $37 billion

Round 32 of the AWS-3 auction closed Tuesday with $436,345,000 worth of new bids (135 of them). That per-round new bid total continues to drop as the auction, presumably, starts to wind down.

The new overall total of provisional winning bids is $36,443,367,200, which is about double the next-largest FCC auction, the 700 MHz auction in 2008 at $18.9 billion, although the AWS-3 bids remain provisional winners until after the auction.

In fact, 24 bids have been withdrawn and the licenses now back in the hands of the FCC.

The auction has met both of its reserve prices, and has now brought in more than double some pre-auction estimates. That could raise the expectations, and prices, for the broadcast incentive auction.

It also relieves pressure on that auction, since the things it was supposed to pay for, including an emergency communications network, have already been covered by the AWS-3 auction.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.