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FCC Announces Full Power TV CP Auction

The FCC issued a Public Notice announcing an auction of full power TV station construction permits scheduled for March 15, 2006. While one of the construction permits, NTSC channel 51 in Jackson, Miss. is limited to existing applicants, of the four DTV construction permits (CPs) being auctioned, only one has an existing application--DTV channel 22 in Topeka, Kan. The other three--DTV 45 in Greeley, Colo.; DTV 3 in Apalachicola, Fla. and DTV 46 in Derby, Kan. have no existing applicants. Six NTSC CPs are being auctioned, half with an existing applicant. The NTSC CPs include Pueblo, Colo. (Channel 48); Duluth, Minn. (Channel 27); Osage Beach, Mo. (Channel 49); Bend, Ore. (Channel 51); and Victoria, Texas (Channel 51). Channel 51 in Medical Lake, Wash. has a designation of TV-NTSC10-51, but the Public Notice lists the channel as "DTV 51."

Given the problems many broadcasters encountered when attempting to specify their NTSC channels for post-transition DTV operation, bidders for the NTSC channels should verify that they can use these channels for DTV when analog broadcast ends, which now appears to be 2009 at the latest.

For additional information on how to bid for these CPs, see Public Notice DA 05-2423 and the FCC Auction 64 - Full Power Television Station Construction Permits Web page.

In other FCC auction news, last week the FCC announced the winning bids in Auction 81 - Low Power Television (LPTV). Net bids in this auction totaled $836,100. with 39 bidders winning 90 permits.