March 29 marked the official start of the incentive auction. However, the official start was a bit anti-climactic since no actual bidding begins until May.
Broadcasters had until 6 p.m. on March 29 to tell the FCC whether they’re willing to go off-the-air entirely, channel share, or move to a different frequency. The FCC cannot release information on how many broadcasters will be participating in the auction, but will use their commitments to create a spectrum clearing target, or the amount of frequencies the agency aims to auction off. That target, expected to be released in several weeks, will provide some insight into the level of interest among TV stations.