New TV Permits Cost $23 Million

The FCC has closed the bidding on construction permits for 10 new full-power TV stations.

Eight bidders, including Entercom and Koplar Communications, paid a total of $23,367,850 for the channel assignments and the right to build the stations.

There were actually 11 permits up for bid, but nobody bid on Victoria, Tex.  

A permit for Bend, Ore., was the priciest at over $8 million, with Duluth, Minn., the cheapest at $262,600. Drawing the most bids was Derby, Kan., with Entrevision the winner.

They are among the first generation of broadcasters who are having to pay for their spectrum use now that the government is trying to better monetize the process through auctions. Incumbent analog broadcasters did not have to pay for their digital channels, though they must return their analog spectrum by Feb. 17, 2009, according to Congress.

Downpayments are due April 6.

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.