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FCC Confirms DTV Station Auctions for Feb. 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission has confirmed its auction date for two full-power DTV station licenses. Licenses for VHF assignments in Atlantic City, N.J., and Seaford, Del., will go up for auction Feb. 15, 2011. The FCC’s Media Bureau set forth the official rules of the auction yesterday. Bids for construction permits on Ch. 4 in Atlantic City and Ch. 5 in Seaford will begin at $200,000. Applicants will be required to put the minimum amount up for deposit before being eligible to bid.

Applications to bid in the auction, No. 90, must be submitted by 6 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2010. Deposits are due by 6 p.m. Jan. 31, 2010. A “mock” auction will commence Feb. 11, 2011 to allow the qualifying bidders to become familiar with the FCC’s auction system. The list of qualifying bidders will be published 10 days before the first official round of bidding opens on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

The two channel assignments arose from an amendment to the FCC’s post-DTV transition table of allotments. It noted that New Jersey and Delaware each lacked VHF allotments. Federal rules require that each state have at least one where it’s technically feasible. The stations built on the auctioned construction permits must remain on those VHF channels as long as they remain their respective states’ sole designees. 
-- Deborah D. McAdams