FCC Gives 10 Stations More Time to Boost DTV Coverage Area

The FCC has granted 10 stations more time to boost their DTV coverage area before satellite operators get to test the signals and potentially import similar signals into those TV stations' markets.

Among the stations getting an extension of their waivers is top market ABC-owned WABC-DT New York.

The FCC permits satellite subscribers/companies to test TV station signal strength and import similar out-of-market TV stations to viewers who do not get a sufficiently strong signal from the in-market station.

But during the DTV transition, the DTV signals of a number of stations are not yet at full strength or coverage for various reasons and the FCC has exempted them from the requirement since that would allow the importation of signals to viewers who will eventually be getting the relevant in-market station. The commission has said it would be flexible about such issues and work with stations making the DTV switch.

For example, WABC has recieved two six-month extensions already because of the 9/11 attacks that destroyed its, and others, transmission facilities. It is receiving yet another six-month extension to June 15, 2009, for the same reason. WABC says it has applied for an application for auxiliary facilities on the Empire State Building and will likely build there or some other site, like the proposed Freedom Tower location, but has been unable to do so yet.

Another example is stations that are having to use a side-mounted DTV antenna while their top-mounted antenna continues to broadcast an analog signal. Those stations will be at reducted coverage until they can switch the digital for the top-mount analog.

Other stations getting extensions of their waivers were WTVG Toledo; KAUZ Wichita Falls, TX; KNOP North Platte, NE; WNKY Dowl Green, KY; KCBY Coos Bay, OR; KVAL Eugene, OR; WTRF Wheeling, WVA; and WBOY Clarksburg, WVA.

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.