Round 23: Spectrum Auction Bid Totals Increase By About 3%

After round 23 in the forward portion of the FCC's incentive auction, the bidding total was $22,077,875,100, which translates to $21.4 billion net of bidding credits and discounts, or a little under 25% of what the FCC will need to raise to close the auction at the initial 126 MHz spectrum clearing target.

The round 22 bid total was $21,436,324,000, so the bids offered in round 23 were up only a bit over $641 million, or about 3%. The FCC is raising its asking price for the spectrum by 10% each round.

The auction began Aug. 16, with the expectation that it could take a couple of months, and perhaps at least a couple of spectrum targets.

If the FCC can't net enough in the bidding--that $21.4 billion is the round 23 net--to meet or exceed $88.3 billion, it will lower its clearing target--the amount of spectrum it can reclaim from broadcasters--continue the reverse portion of that auction, then conduct a second forward auction. It has nine different spectrum-clearing targets down to 42 MHz.

Demand decreased slightly in the top two markets. In top market New York, bids dropped from enough to pay for 21 licenses for the 10 available in round 22. In L.A, down from 17 licenses bid for 5 available to 15 bid or those 5.

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.