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A third of US broadcasters still plan to be all digital on February 17

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 10 Feb 2009 21:25 User comments (15)

A third of US broadcasters still plan to be all digital on February 17 The DTV Delay Act, which passed both the US Senate and House of Representatives recently, was supposed to ensure consumers who won't be prepared for the DTV transition on the original February 17 date would still be able to watch TV. But today when the FCC released the list of broadcasters who are hoping to turn off their analog signals by that date anyway that's not how it looked.
According to the FCC announcement 190 stations were already cleared to go all digital prior to the original deadline. Nearly 500 more have informed the FCC they still plan to keep the original schedule and make the transition on February 17. In total 681 stations, more than a third of all full power broadcasters in the US, intend to stick with their original plans.

There's no guarantee all these stations will be allowed to go through with the transition early. The rule changes that go along with the new transition date allow the FCC to force stations to wait until June 12 if commissioners feel it would be "contrary to the public interest" for them to switch over early.

It seems likely the FCC won't allow that many stations to switch this month. That raises the question of whether there may be lawsuits by broadcasters who are stuck with additional expenses stemming directly from the Federal Government's sudden change of plans.

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15 user comments

110.2.2009 23:09

I'd love to see a list of those who have or will drop analogue by Feb. 17 and those who haven't.

210.2.2009 23:48

were my mom lives, cbs has already went to only digital, there analog equipment broke and the said there not gonna fix it.

311.2.2009 2:17

Quote:
That raises the question of whether there may be lawsuits by broadcasters who are stuck with additional expenses stemming directly from the Federal Government's sudden change of plans.

This I would like to see. If they are going to force them to NOT change someone better step up to pay for the added costs that weren't going to be there had the original date been left alone.

411.2.2009 2:42

Lol, this is just funny as hell. I don't think anyone should have been forced to change over in the first place. I never watch it but I think it's bull crap.

511.2.2009 4:55

What's amazing I'm STILL SEEING commercials where analog TV stations will be CUT OFF COMPLETELY by Feb.17, and I'm like WTF? As if already confusing to Americans about DT delay until June 12! Either's somebody not had their coffee or either those particular stations are going to shut down the analog signals. My 2 cents.

611.2.2009 6:17

Originally posted by Run4two:
I'd love to see a list of those who have or will drop analogue by Feb. 17 and those who haven't.

Here's the PDF version and another in spreadsheet form. The FCC has them broken down by (Nielson) market. On the spreadsheet you can sort them by whether they're switching / have switched over before the 17th, plan to switch on the 17th, or don't plan to do it early.

711.2.2009 6:20

Quote:
Quote:
That raises the question of whether there may be lawsuits by broadcasters who are stuck with additional expenses stemming directly from the Federal Government's sudden change of plans.

This I would like to see. If they are going to force them to NOT change someone better step up to pay for the added costs that weren't going to be there had the original date been left alone.

This is purely speculation on my part, but I can tell you I'd be considering it if the government knowingly cost me thousands of dollars for no discernable gain other than the appearance of "doing something" about a problem everyone has seen coming. If they really wanted to get the issues resolved they'd let the switch happen. Instead they're dragging it out until June when we'll have many of the same problems we do now. But with more confusion due to the number of channels already unavailable in analog form.

811.2.2009 8:13

Originally posted by Run4two:
I'd love to see a list of those who have or will drop analogue by Feb. 17 and those who haven't.
Hey Run4two, seek and you shall find your answer on RabbitEars.com
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Feb 2009 @ 8:17

olpedro

911.2.2009 8:20

Quote:
Originally posted by Run4two:
I'd love to see a list of those who have or will drop analogue by Feb. 17 and those who haven't.
Hey Run4two, seek and you shall find your answer on RabbitEars.com

Or straight from the FCC in the links I posted above ;-)
Quote:
Here's the PDF version and another in spreadsheet form. The FCC has them broken down by (Nielson) market. On the spreadsheet you can sort them by whether they're switching / have switched over before the 17th, plan to switch on the 17th, or don't plan to do it early.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Feb 2009 @ 9:52

1011.2.2009 9:31

Now if only those stations were digital AND HD! CW, MyNetworkTV and Fox (yes, even Fox) in my market are still SD broadcasts, even on the digital band.

1111.2.2009 11:30
atomicxl
Inactive

Originally posted by SProdigy:
Now if only those stations were digital AND HD! CW, MyNetworkTV and Fox (yes, even Fox) in my market are still SD broadcasts, even on the digital band.
Damn, that sucks. MyNetwork is still SD in my area, but all the majors show HD programming and the news is always HD. The news looks awesome btw. I just wish they'd invest in HD cameras for the reporters instead of only in studio.

1211.2.2009 15:30

Quote:
A third of US broadcasters still plan to be all digital on February 17
Good! It makes it easier if the change is phased-in.

If change was being made by a private company, they would be phasing it in by region. In fact, Comcast is changing some of the channels in my area to digital, and they are supplying converter boxes. Of course, they're not trying to update the whole country on the same day!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Feb 2009 @ 15:51

1311.2.2009 16:52

Originally posted by DVDdoug:
Quote:
A third of US broadcasters still plan to be all digital on February 17
Good! It makes it easier if the change is phased-in.

If change was being made by a private company, they would be phasing it in by region. In fact, Comcast is changing some of the channels in my area to digital, and they are supplying converter boxes. Of course, they're not trying to update the whole country on the same day!
And that does make a ton of sense, considering things are already divided between East/West of the Mississippi. Just take a look and see if your stations' call letters start with a "K" or a "W". Why not "W" one week and "K" the next?

1417.2.2009 18:14

I understand tv stations are been talking about this digital transition for over 4 years now, whoever did not get prepare on that time, won't get prepare in the next 4 months. They will take action as soon as their tv's go dark, they will run to the stores and buy the equipment.
I think every station should change on february 17.

1518.2.2009 13:59

My local PBS station here in South Carolina was the first one to pull the analog plug last night.

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