The goal of Auction 99 is to resolve 12 groups of pending mutually exclusive (MX) applications for cross-service FM translator construction permits. The auction is expected to commence on May 15.
These MX applications came from a 2017 auction filing window for those AM broadcasters who were looking for new FM translator station CPs. A number of MX applications have already been finalized through settlement or technical resolution, and so those that remain must take part in a competitive bidding process.
Be aware that this is a closed auction, which means that only those entities listed in the attachment released by the Federal Communications Commission are eligible to bid. The list provided by the FCC sets up a proposed minimum opening bid and a proposed upfront payment amount for each construction permit.
Keep in mind a few of the rules: One, that an applicant is qualified to bid only if it complies with additional filing, qualification and payment rules.
Two, that each of the engineering proposals within each MX group are directly mutually exclusive with one another. As a result, no more than one construction permit will be awarded for each MX group identified on the list.
And three, even if only one applicant for a particular construction permit ends up being qualified to become a bidder, that applicant still must submit a bid to vie for the construction permit.
The locations are mainly in the East and South, including in Alabama, Florida, Georgia Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, with one in Texas. The opening bids start at $750 for a permit in Jasper, Ga., and range up to $10,000 for a permit in the Norfolk/Portsmouth area of Virginia.
The FCC is also asking for the public’s comment on how the competitive bidding procedures should be set up. Comments can be submitted here using Docket Number 17-143.
Detailed information on processing, rules and payment procedures on Auction 99 can be found here.