New Jersey, Delaware TV auctions taxi onto the runway


The special FCC CP sale designed to provide full-power VHF television service to the states of New Jersey and Delaware is on track for a February kick-off, with eight bidders ready to go and with two more that still have a little more work to do if they still wish to participate.

The auction is scheduled to kick off on Tuesday, 2/15/11, with a mock auction held Friday 2/11/11. Upfront payments are due 1/21/11. The payment due date is also the date by which the applicants with incompletes need to rectify their deficiencies.

The stations up for grabs are Channel 4 in Atlantic City NJ and Channel 5 in Seaford DE. Each carries an upfront payment of $200K, and that amount also will be used as a minimum opening bid and as a bidding unit.

All but two of the qualifying applicants have opted to bid on both licenses.

Here are the qualified prospective licenses playing in both auctions:

* Avinash C. Ahuja

* Ann Brueggemann (35% bidding credit)

* George S. Flinn Jr.

* Mi Hyon Lim (35% bidding credit)


* S&B Broadcasting Company (25% bidding credit)

There qualifiers are going for only one CP:

* Loop Media, LLC

* Word of God Fellowship, Inc

These are the prospective licensees who need to get their applications up to snuff:

* Revolution Transport Services LLC

* Western Pacific Broadcast LLC

RBR-TVBR observation: The two states in question lack DMAs to call their own. New Jersey is under the thumb of New York to the north and Philadelphia to the south; Delaware is under the thumb of Philadelphia to the north and Salisbury-Ocean City MD to the south. To say the least, it will be interesting to see how the winners of the auctions go about programming embryonic stations.

To make them true servants to their states of license, perhaps an ideal solution would be for the MVPDs serving within the states to agree to make them available to all in-state communities; and to justify that, the stations would have to agree to provide a healthy dose of state-specific news coverage.

Will that happen? Who knows? It’s a free country, and the federal government has no say in how they will be programmed. And only MVPDs serving the specific DMAs that each will be part of will be under any carriage obligation. So all we can do is stay tuned.