For the last few years, three well-funded buyout firms have been quietly picking up licenses to commercial and noncommercial TV stations in a gamble on big payouts from next year’s FCC incentive auction of television spectrum. Current’s research of FCC license applications filed since 2010 found at least 25 separate deals involving three firms: OTA Broadcasting, NRJ TV and LocusPoint Networks. The stations they’ve acquired to date are on the peripheries of major markets, primarily ranging from Boston to Washington, D.C., in the eastern U.S. and from Seattle down to Los Angeles along the West Coast. The three firms are all owned or funded by private equity firms that command billions in assets. Due to vagaries in the FCC’s reporting requirements, it’s likely that the commission’s records provide an incomplete picture of the companies’ purchases.