Broadcasters Rip Analog Shutoff Plan

The broadcast industry is attacking a plan that would bring digital TV to America by 2009. That's when the government proposes to shut off the analog frequencies that TV stations now use.

WASHINGTON (Hollywood Reporter)--The broadcast industry are attacking a plan that would bring digital TV to America by 2009. That's when the government proposes to shut off the analog frequencies that TV stations now use.

In a letter to the FCC last Thursday, the National Association of Broadcasters and the heads of the major network affiliates organizations told the FCC commissioners that the plan proposed by the agency's staff is an unworkable series of "shortcuts."

FCC mass media bureau chief Ken Ferree rolled out the plan last Wednesday. Under the law, broadcasters are supposed to give the government the analog channels it uses now in exchange for digital ones.

The switch is set for 2006 or when 85% of the television audience can receive a digital TV signal. Ferree's plan, in effect, sets a hard 2009 deadline.

"The bureau's idea would not only fail to advance but also would retard the primary purpose of the transition--to deliver improved digital signals to the public and replace view reliance on analog-quality service," the executives wrote.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.