Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Digital Broadcasting Testing To Begin In Wilmington, North Carolina in September

From the National Association of Broadcasters press release, dated May 9, 2008

NAB Statement Regarding DTV Test Pilot in




Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the creation of an experimental test market – the




designated market area (DMA) – for the full-power television station transition to all-digital broadcasting. In the FCC experiment, full-power stations in the


market will shut off their analog signals on September 8, 2008 – a full five months before the national transition to digital television (DTV) occurs on February 17, 2009.

NAB’s Vice President of the Digital Television Transition Jonathan Collegio issued the following statement:

“The FCC-initiated experiment in


can shed light on a number of issues surrounding the national DTV transition in February 2009. The results must be objectively reviewed to determine how or whether the findings can be applied nationwide. NAB will be fully supportive of our local television broadcasters in this effort.

NAB hopes that this experiment will answer important questions that will help all parties ensure the success of the DTV transition, including:

  • What is the coordination plan between the federal, state and local governments to distribute information about the September 8 experimental analog shut-off? 
  • How will the government ensure retailer coordination so that enough coupon-certified converter boxes will be available given the increased demand of the early shut-off date?
  • In particular, what specific actions will the government take to ensure that retailers have “analog pass-through” converter boxes available, given the low-power television stations in the


    market, including one major network affiliate?
  • How will the government prioritize converter box coupon application requests originating from the Wilmington DMA, given the current national backlog of coupon requests?
  • What action will the government take to ensure that national messaging or messaging from bordering markets about the February 17, 2009 transition date does not result in confusion in the Wilmington DMA? 
  • How will the government ensure that satellite operators accelerate their coordination schedule?  
  • How will the government ensure that cable operators serving the


    market are prepared to coordinate an early analog shut-off and have they made plans to ensure viewability to analog television subscribers?

We look forward to working closely with our


stations, the FCC, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration and other parties as they move forward with this initiative.

Broadcasters nationwide have led the private-public partnership to ensure a successful DTV transition, committing more than $1 billion towards a multiplatform campaign to educate Americans.”

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Digital Broadcasting Testing To Begin In Wilmington, North Carolina in September: