FCC Releases Procedures for Auction 112

On February 10, 2022, the Office of Economics and Analytics (“OEA”) and the Media Bureau released a Public Notice that establishes the procedures and minimum opening bid amounts to be used for Auction 112, an auction of 27 construction permits for full power television stations.  The auction will be a simultaneous multiple round auction where bids will be accepted on all construction permits in each round until bidding stops on every construction permit.  The 27 construction permits will be offered across 16 states, as set forth in Attachment A, which also provides the upfront payment and minimum opening bid for each permit.

Bidding is scheduled to begin on June 7, 2022.  The following relevant dates will apply to Auction 112:

  • Auction Tutorial Available (via Internet) – no later than February 25, 2022
  • Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Window Opens – March 17, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time (“ET”)
  • Short-Form Application Filing Window Deadline – March 20, 2022, 6:00 PM ET
  • Upfront Payments (via wire transfer) – May 6, 2022, 6:00 PM ET
  • Mock Auction – June 3, 2022
  • Bidding Begins – June 7, 2022

Those wishing to participate in Auction 112 must submit a short-form application (FCC Form 175) prior to 6 p.m. ET on March 30 and submit an upfront payment and FCC Remittance Advice Form (FCC Form 159) by 6 p.m. ET on May 6.  The short-form application will be available starting at 12 p.m. on March 17.  The short form application requires an applicant to certify that it is legally, technically, and financially qualified to hold a permit.  The applicant must also certify that it has read the Public Notice, designate an authorized bidder, select which permits on which it may want to bid, disclose any agreements related to the permits being auction, fulfill the ownership disclosure requirements, and, if applying for a bidding credit, certify that it satisfies the eligibility requirements.

There will be an online auction tutorial available no later than February 25, and a mock auction will be held on June 3. Prior to March 17, OEA will provide various materials on the pre-bidding process, including step-by-step instructions for completing the short-form application, at www.fcc.gov/auction/112.  Prior to the mock auction, OEA will publish a user guide for the bidding system.  Details regarding the mock auction and actual auction, including the bidding schedule, will be announced in a public notice listing the qualified bidders.

Winning bidders that qualify as new entrants may use a bidding credit to lower the cost of its winning bid on any broadcast construction permit (47 CFR § 73.5007).  A thirty-five percent bidding credit is given to winning bidders with no attributable interest in any other media of mass communications, and a twenty-five percent bidding credit will be given to those with no more than three mass media facilities that do not serve the same area as the broadcast permit proposed in the auction.  Eligibility for the new entrant bidding credit must be specified in an applicant’s short-form application.

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