Interested in a new FM radio station? Now might be your chance. The Commission today announced an upcoming auction, designated as FCC Auction No. 91, offering licenses for 147 new FM channels in various communities across the country. The auction will begin on March 29. Today’s public notice merely lists the channels to be auctioned and the proposed minimum bid in the auction to be associated with each channel, and asks for comments on the procedures that will apply in conducting the auction. We would expect that applications to participate in the auction will probably be due sometime in or around January, 2011. The list of the 147 licenses to be offered for sale is available here. The FCC Public Notice asking for comment on the auction procedures is available here.
Parties who are interested in bidding for any of these channels will be able to submit short form applications indicating the channels in which they are interested. As stated above, we would expect these applications will be due sometime early in 2011, so that the FCC can process those applications and receive the necessary upfront payments from parties interested in the auction in time for the auction itself to begin in March. Thus, parties who are interested in any of these channels should start their due diligence process now, and determine which channels may be of interest, and which channels can actually be built in such a way as to cover areas that an applicant may want to serve, so that they can be ready to file their applications.