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FCC waives 100-day countdown

The FCC is temporarily waiving the 100-day countdown clock requirement scheduled to start March 4 for all TV stations that elected Option Two of the DTV Consumer Education requirements.

It?s possible the Commission will adopt revisions to the consumer education rules sometime this month and they wanted to minimize viewer confusion.

In the meantime, all other Option Two requirements remain in effect.

FCC adopts new DTV rules

The FCC adopted rules effective Feb. 27 implementing the DTV Delay Act. The act applies to all full-power television stations, including digital-only stations. 

Stations must be aware of the following key rules:

Rule #1
All stations must continue meeting the maximum level of DTV Education Initiative requirements established by their current Option selection until June 30, 2009. 

Those stations operating under Option 2 must restart the 100-day Countdown Clock on March 4, 2009.  

While the FCC asked for comments on the 100-day countdown clock requirement for digital-only stations, the comments are due tomorrow and TAB's legal counsel advises it is very unlikely the agency is going to alter the requirement. 
TAB will alert stations immediately if such an alteration is adopted.

Rule #2
Stations seeking to terminate analog operations prior to the new DTV Transition date, June 12, 2009, must file a notice of intent to terminate by March 17, 2009. 

Failure to file such a notice will result in the inability of that station to terminate analog operation before June 12, 2009 absent exigent circumstances.

Rule #3
All stations must continue filing the DTV Education Status Report, on FCC Form 388, through the second quarter of 2009. 

The recently revised FCC Form 388 is now available in CDBS. 

The next submission deadline is April 10, 2009.

Rule #4
All stations must file an updated FCC Form 387 by April 16, 2009. The recently revised FCC Form 387 is now available in CDBS.

For details regarding the specific DTV rule changes, please review the advisory prepared by TAB?s FCC legal counsel, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

PDF icon Download advisory

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