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157 TV stations gave up spectrum to wireless bidders

Posted at 8:57 AM, Apr 23, 2019

Data regarding bids made by wireless companies for spectrum offered in a 2017 broadcast incentive auction has been made public.

The information shows 858 of 1,800 eligible television stations across the United States where willing to give up spectrum for the right price. The total spent from 50 wireless bidders is more than $187 billion, paid to 175 stations.

The largest payout to a single TV station was $304 million, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

The FCC has made the data regarding the spectrum auction available online. Most sellers opted to go off-air once their spectrum was sold, though some moved to high- and low-VHF, the data shows.

Broadcasters worried that if unsuccessful bidder's participation were made public, it could be seen as a disinterest in their commitment to that station. But the FCC was not required to keep the auction results private. It waited two years to release the information as a courtesy, it said.