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Curious about the confusing broadcast incentive auction, which raised nearly $20 billion for broadcasters and U.S. taxpayers to clear out premium wireless spectrum? Good! We have the answers. Below are a few quick facts and some resource links.

First let’s take a look at the FCC’s nifty Incentive Auction “By the Numbers” document, which runs down some of the major milestones and stats of this historic auction. Remember that there was both a traditional “forward auction” in which buyers bid for spectrum; and then there’s the “reverse auction” in which sellers (in this case the broadcast stations) could bid to set prices at which they were willing to sell.  

Reverse Auction

$10.05 billion

Revenues to winning broadcast stations

84 MHz

Cleared by the reverse auction process


Winning stations

$304 million

Largest individual station payout

$194 million

Largest non-commercial station payout


Band changing winners (moved to low- or high-VHF)


Winning stations receiving more than $100 million


Non-commercial stations winning more than $100 million


Forward Auction

$19.8 billion

Gross revenues (2nd largest in FCC auction history)

$19.3 billion

Revenues net of requested bidding credits

$7.3 billion

Auction proceeds for federal deficit reduction

70 MHz

Largest amount of licensed low-band spectrum ever made available at auction

14 MHz

Spectrum available for wireless mics and unlicensed use


License blocks sold (out of total of 2,912 offered)


Average price/MHz-pop sold in Top 40 PEAs


Average price/MHz-pop sold nationwide


Winning bidders


Winning bidders seeking rural bidding credits


Winning bidders seeking small business bidding credits

Sure, that’s exciting–but obviously you want more details. You must have more details, right? Good. See below for some helpful links that will allow you to completely geek out on all the specifics around the broadcast incentive auction, including who paid what, how many rounds it took to arrive at a price, etc… In the way of a preview, we’ll tell you that T-Mobile was the biggest bidder, spending more than $8 billion. But DISH also came in for an impressive $6.2 billion as well. Comcast, however, spent less than some analysts expected, spending $1.7 billion.

But again, we know you want more… So check out these resources, courtesy of your friendly FCC:

To view the entire list of broadcasters who won at auction nationwide, read the Public Notice here: (see Appendix A).

A full list of winners can be found in Appendix B of the Public Notice:

For more information about the history and results of the incentive auction and how to prepare for the post-auction transition, check out


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