Both Commerce Committees have the DTV transition on the agenda this week. The House takes it up on Wednesday and the Senate follows suit on Thursday. Neither panel has named any witnesses yet, but these situations often make for a busy week for certain usual suspects who stand an excellent chance of finding their names on both guest lists. (It also breeds a certain amount of duplication when it comes to prepared remarks.)
TVBR/RBR observation: Legislators are convinced they will be the first ones to hear about it if there are any snags in the transition. That has placed a premium on getting appropriate CYA quotes published in the Congressional Record. Many of these quotes concern making sure that the public is well-educated on the topic. The CYA funding to educate the public has been much tougher to come by than the quotes, however. The Bush administration has just asked for 20M for an FCC educational effort. That stands beside an oft-cited British expenditure of 300M to perform the same task for a relatively miniscule nation. We’ll have to see if hot funding begins to match the hot air being expended on this topic in Washington. So far, Washington seems content to let the NAB handle the task solo, all while complaining about the methodology the NAB plans to use. It will be extremely interesting to see if there are any concrete proposals coming out of either committee this week.