Fox Television Stations is expecting to receive approximately $350 million in proceeds from the FCC’s broadcast incentive auctions.
“The anticipated proceeds reflect the FCC’s acceptance of one or more bids placed by Fox Television Stations during the auction to relinquish spectrum used by certain of its television stations,” the company said in a news release. “This spectrum sale is not expected to lead to any material change in the operations or results for Fox Television Stations or for any of the affected television markets.”
Fox Television, which is owned by 21st Century Fox, expects to receive the proceeds this year.
As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, $350 million is well shy of what some analysts predicted the broadcaster, which owns 28 stations in 17 markets and covers over 37% of U.S. television homes, would make during the auction. According to the report, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker thought Fox could haul in as much as $2 billion during the reverse auction.
Of course, many of those estimates came before the auctions began and failed to build the momentum many expected they would.
The 600 MHz airwaves up for auction are considered more valuable because of their propagation characteristics that allow for wider coverage areas using fewer towers and better in-building reception. Some thought the auctions could top the record $44.9 billion brought in by the AWS-3 spectrum auction.
But with the forward auction winding down, the proceed total hovering around $19.56 billion and the FCC taking measures to speed up the bidding process, it’s becoming clear that the broadcast incentive auctions won’t be the resounding success many had hoped for.
Fox is the second broadcaster to release proceeds estimates after Gray Television on Tuesday announced it expected to make $90.8 million in proceeds from the reverse auction. Tribune Media today also announced it expected to receive $190 million in proceeds from the auctions and, like the other broadcasters offering estimates so far, did not expect the auction results to have any material impact on its operations.
According to a news release, Gray’s anticipated proceeds "reflect the FCC’s acceptance of one or more bids placed by Gray during the auction to modify and/or surrender spectrum used by certain of our television stations."
The company said that “Significantly, the actions necessary to receive the proceeds will not lead to job losses and otherwise are not expected to produce any material change in operations or results for Gray or for any individual market in which we operate,” adding that it will announce the affected station or stations at a later date.
This article was updated to include Tribune Media's prediction.