The FCC has declared the end of Stage 1 of the Incentive Auction, with total forward auction revenues of $23.1 billion.


According to the Public Reporting System:

“Bidding in the forward auction has concluded for Stage 1 without meeting the final stage rule and without meeting the conditions to trigger an extended round. The incentive auction will continue with Stage 2 at a lower clearing target.  The FCC will release a public notice announcing details about the next stage, including the clearing target for Stage 2, and the time and date at which bidding in Stage 2 of the reverse auction will begin.”

The second stage of the reverse auction will begin no sooner than 5 business days from today, or Wednesday September 7.

The second stage will look very similar to the first stage: it will last up to the same number of rounds and clock prices will be the same as in the corresponding round of the first stage.  There are, however, several differences:

  • First, the only participants in a second stage of the reverse auction will be stations that ended the first stage with a status of “frozen-provisionally winning.”  All other stations will be designated for repacking.
  • Second, although we expect that the second stage will start at round one, the only stations that will be active in round one are those (if any) that froze at their opening prices.  Other participating stations will have a status of “frozen-pending catch up” through the round in which they were frozen in the first stage.  Stations will not become active bidders until their bid price falls below the last bid price that they accepted.
  • Third and most importantly, because the clearing target will go from 126 MHz to 114 MHz, the FCC will need to buy two fewer stations in most areas.  Thus, while the supply of stations will remain the same as at the close of the first stage, the demand to buy stations (and therefore the prices) will generally decrease – although prices could remain stable in some PEAs.


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