Public TV and the FCC Spectrum: A Mystery and an Opportunity

The Free Press Action Fund recently set out to determine which public TV stations are taking part in the Federal Communications Commission's broadcast incentive auction. First we noted which stations had already publicly announced their intention to participate or not. Then in July, we contacted by phone all auction eligible public broadcasters that had not yet publicized their plans. Here's what we found:

  • 54 public TV stations confirmed that yes, they are participants in the auction.
  • 87 public TV stations confirmed that no, they aren't participants in the auction.
  • 40 stations refused to say whether they applied to participate.
  • 104 stations didn't respond to the survey.

The participating stations the Free Press Action Fund identified are concentrated in 18 states and the District of Columbia. If they were to sell their spectrum at the maximum opening-bid prices, they would collectively stand to earn over $14 billion.


Public TV and the FCC Spectrum: A Mystery and an Opportunity