No Auction Money For Scripps

The company said none of the spectrum it put up for sale “was selected during the auction process because the prices available in the auction fell below the value we ascribed to it.”

While a number of broadcasters have reported their takes from the FCC’s incentive auction this week after the commission lifted its “quiet period,” E.W. Scripps Co. just announced it’s not one of them.

“We pursued several channel-share arrangements with ourselves and other broadcast partners that would have allowed us to continue to operate our stations and serve our local communities while supporting the government in its attempt to recapture some broadcaster spectrum,” said Brian Lawlor, Scripps SVP, broadcast.

“However, none of the spectrum we or our partners offered was selected during the auction process because the prices available in the auction fell below the value we ascribed to it. Scripps will continue to serve each of our local communities using our full spectrum capacity as allocated by the FCC.”

Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker commented: “We originally valued Scripps’ ‘in the middle’ proceeds at $52 million, so today’s announcement isn’t a disappointment at all. With the reverse auction clearing at a substantially lower number than our target ($10 billion vs. our estimate of $30 billion), we expected little-to-no proceeds. If anything, we are encouraged to hear that maangement took a disciplined approach to the auction.”

The spectrum proceeds announced so far include Sinclair Broadcast Group ($313 million), Tribune Media ($190 million), Fox Television Stations ($350 million) and Gray Television ($90.8 million).


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