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KLDT Switches To All-Digital

The FCC has granted KLDT-TV Dallas permission to discontinue its analog broadcasts on ch.55 there and move to digital-only broadcasts on its current DTV channel 54.

The FCC has allowed stations on channels 52 to 59 to give up their analog and go all-digital before the 2009 transition date because after the transition, broadcasters will all be concentrated in the lower band, with that swath of spectrum cleared for re-use for advance services.

In this case, Qualcomm, which bought rights to some of the to-be-cleared spectrum at auction, is striking deals with stations on ch. 55 so that it can launch its MediaFlo multichannel video service to wireless phones.

Because the digital channel--54--is only one channel away from Qualcomm's new service, there will be some interference to KLDT viewers, but the FCC concluded that it will affect only .86% of those viewers, and only until the transition date, so that "this temporary loss of service is outweighed by the fact that over 390,000 people will receive KLDT-DT service for the first time."

That additional viewership is because per the Qualcomm buyout, the station was able upgrade from a low power to a full-power DTV signal and reach that many more viewers.