NAB Restarts Countdown Clock

The National Association of Broadcasters has already changed the countdown clock on its Web site to reflect the fact that there are now 128 days left to go. It has also begun informing Web surfers of the new date of June 12.

Congress voted Wednesday to change the date, but the handwriting had been on the wall for days, allowing folks like NAB to get ready.

“The date when television goes all digital has changed,” NAB said on its DTV site. “By law, full-power television stations nationwide must begin broadcasting exclusively in a digital format by June 12, 2009. The U.S. Congress approved an extension of the deadline, which was originally set for February 17.”

But NAB was also encouraging everybody not to wait around. “But just because the date has changed doesn’t mean you have to wait to start enjoying all the benefits of digital television (DTV),” NAB said, ”it’s available now.”

The FCC’s Web site at press time still had the Feb. 17 date and a clock counting down to that date, though the commission may be waiting until the president signs the bill, which is expected in the next day or two.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.