50-plus markets plunge into DTV


Citizens with an analog receiver, who lack an MVPD subscription or a converter box, will find their televiewing options significantly reduced when the analog off switch is thrown. Some will be left with only one big four network, and many will lose one or more stations.

The FCC has established a presence in 72 markets, and “…has boosted staffing in consumer call centers, providing 2,506 information specialists to answer consumer questions about the transition and an additional 1,759 agents through industry partners. All calls will be routed through a single number, 1-888-CALLFCC, and agents will have the ability to refer callers to local contacts for information regarding particular reception issues.”

A quick eyeball scan of the FCC market list shows the following to be experiencing major losses of analog service: Augusta GA; Biloxi-Gulfport MS; Burlington VT-Plattsurgh NY; Casper-Riverton WY; Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque IA; Champaign-Springfield-Decatur IL; Charlottesville VA; Cheyenne WY-Scottsbluff NE; Chico-Redding CA; Columbus-Tupelo-West Point MS; Duluth MN-Superior WI; Elmira-Corning NY; Fargo-Valley City ND; Ft. Myers-Naples FL; Gainesville-Ocala FL; Grand Junction-Montrose CO; Greenwood-Greenville MS; Guam; La Crosse-Eau Clair WI; Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney NE; Lubbock TX; Macon GA; Madison WI; Medford-Klamath Falls OR; Meridian MS; North Platte NE; Peoria-Bloomington IL; Portland-Auburn ME; Providence RI-New Bedford MA; Quincy IL-Hannibal MO-Keokuk IA; Rapid City SD; Rockford IL; Salisbury MD; San Angelo TX; San Diego CA; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo CA; Savannah GA; Sioux City IA; Sioux Falls-Mitchell SD; South Bend-Elkhart IN; Springfield-Holyoke MA; Tallahassee FL-Thomasville GA; Tokeka KS; Tulsa OK; Waco-Temple-Bryan TX; Wausau-Rhinelander WI; Wichita-Hutchinson KS; Wichita Falls TX-Lawton OK; Wilkes Barre-Scranton PA; and Yakima-Pasco-Richland-kennewick WA.

RBR/TVBR observation: We should have a wealth of information to ease the transition through its endgame 6/12/09 garnered over the next few days. We’re absolutely certain that the Copps FCC will be paying close attention.