The FCC completed the auction of 131 FM broadcast construction permits, raising more than $4.1 million as part of Auction 98.
Not all available permits were auctioned off; 59 bidders won a total of 102 construction permits, meaning 29 permits failed to draw interest.
The largest winning bid was by the ERIE Radio Co., which after 28 rounds made a winning bid amount of $714,000 for a construction permit in Westfield, N.Y. That was followed by a winning bid by Alpha Media Licensee after 26 rounds, for $408,000, for a CP in Harper, Texas.
But those prices were unusual. A fair number of bids were in the $60,000 to $80,000 range, and some bids were under $1,000, including one for $610 by William Doerner, after eight rounds, for a permit in Memphis, Texas.
Among the winners: Mekaddesh Group Corp. won access to eight CPs; Waco Entertainment Group won five, as did Campo E. Munera, while Brazos TV got four. Several groups secured access to two or three, including Rubin Broadcasting, Torres Media Group, Educational Media Foundation and Chisholm Trail Broadcasting.
Those who made deposits greater than their winning bids will receive refunds for any construction permits that they didn’t receive. One of the bigger refunds will go to Entercom License LLC, which will receive all of the $100,000 that it put down as a deposit.
More than half of the 131 FM broadcast CPs were located in Texas, with a few locations in states like California, New Hampshire and Vermont. The next steps: Winning bidders must make their down payments by Aug. 26, with final payments due Sept. 10.
As for the 29 unclaimed CPs, “at some point” the commission will open another filing application window, an FCC official told Radio World. ”If we receive multiple applications to use the same spectrum, the spectrum will be subject to auction,” said Margo Domon-Davenport with the Office of Government and Public Outreach.