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DTV Transition to be Delayed until June 12; Some Stations may Switch Earlier

Concerned that consumers were not adequately prepared for the digital transition set for February 17, Congress passed legislation last week that delayed the date when stations owners must stop broadcasting in analog to June 12.

The DTV delay bill, expected to be signed by the President, says stations may make the switch to digital before the June date, meaning there could be a rolling transition in some markets. However, the FCC retains the right to deny a broadcaster's request if it's not found to be in the public interest. Since the bill's passage, hundreds of stations have expressed interest in staying on track to transition in February.

Although the FCC insists that the guidelines to shut off analog programming before the new date will be flexible, the commission makes a point of saying that not all stations that file a request will be approved for the switch.

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