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FCC gives broadcasters more flexibility in 2009 digital TV cutover

Darren Murph

Just a few months back, the FCC approved a set of rules for the 2009 digital TV transition, but now the entity is apparently okaying even more guidelines that will give US broadcasters "more flexibility in making the switch to digital television from traditional analog signals." More specifically, the new rules would allow some stations to make a "phased transition" to digital broadcasting, and furthermore, these stations will also "be allowed to reduce or terminate their analog service before the February 17, 2009 deadline for the transition if doing so is necessary to achieve their transition." According to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the new rules are being enacted in order to "provide broadcasters the flexibility they need while at the same time ensuring that any disruption to over-the-air viewers is minimized to the fullest extent possible." Still, even those affected by the cutover will have ample time to pick up a converter box, and considering that some stations may now start the switch before February of '09, acting soon is looking better all the time.

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