FCC Releases Guide To Auction, Reimbursement Payouts

The FCC has released a user guide for the web-based system through which winning TV station bidders in the spectrum auction can collect their winnings.

It is also the system TV stations and MVPDs will need to use to get reimbursed for their expenses in the post-auction repack of stations into smaller spectrum space.

It is the tool in which they must put bank account information.

The guide is available here.

Related: FCC Approves Raft of Spectrum Applications

The balance of payments from forward auction winners, whose proceeds will be used to pay broadcasters and for the reimbursement fund, were due May 11, with late-payers getting until May 25.

It will probably take another three months or so after that, if past auctions are any gauge, before that money changes hands again as the FCC pays broadcasters their winning bid amounts—NBC, for example, is getting $481.6 million for the spectrum of flagship WNBC New York and Telemundo affiliates WWSI Philadelphia and WSNS Chicago, though in each case it will maintain the programming through sharing agreements with duopoly partners.

Broadcasters will be getting about $10 billion, with the rest of the $20 billion going to the treasury, minus auction administration costs and the $1.75 billion post-auction repack reimbursement fund.

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.