The National Association of Broadcasters applauded the passage of the Senate bill delaying the DTV deadline and urged that the House and White House expedite the bill’s passage into law.
"NAB supports legislation passed unanimously by the full Senate that moves the DTV deadline to June 12, while providing flexibility to local stations in adjusting to the new date,” said NAB EVP Dennis Wharton. “We are especially appreciative of the tireless efforts of Commerce Committee Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Hutchison in crafting the compromise bill. Local broadcasters and our network partners are proud of the unprecedented billion dollar educational effort we have undertaken to ensure that our viewers are prepared for the switch to digital, and we are grateful for policymaker efforts that underscore over-the-air television’s importance in the fabric of American life. The DTV legislation now moves to the House. NAB salutes the leadership of Commerce Committee Chairman Waxman and his colleagues and we look forward to swift passage of this bill.”
NAB also released the latest NTIA stats on the converter box coupon program. Almost 50M have been requested, with over 2.5M currently on the waiting list. 20.75M have been redeemed, and 14M have expired.
Meanwhile, Associated Press is reporting that public television stations are worried about $22M in extra expense associated with the four month delay, and are hoping that Congress will come up with some cash to see them through.
RBR/TVBR observation: There are genuine reasons to be glad for some extra time before the DTV conversion takes effect, but there are also some good arguments for just getting it over with. But the NAB is absolutely correct to get behind it – there’s simply no stopping the delay at this point, so there is no point in engendering any unnecessary conflict.