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BROADCAST ISSUES

 

Hard Deadline for Analog Cut Off:  The original timetable for the DTV transition assured that stations could broadcast in analog format until 85% of households were ready to receive a digital signal.  To expedite the return of spectrum, there have been proposals to remove the 85% threshold and institute a hard deadline for the analog cut off of December 31, 2006.  This proposal would disenfranchise over 20 million viewers that still rely on over-the-air reception.  In South Carolina, 475,000 households would have their TV go dark - cutting them off from local news and information, including community affairs programming, political coverage, weather alerts or other emergency information. Many of these households are African American, Spanish-speaking families and low-income seniors.  SCBA is lobbying Congress to oppose any proposal to implement a hard deadline for the return of the analog spectrum.

DTV Talking Points

 

Satellite Radio:  Satellite radio was licensed by the FCC as a national service and was never intended to provide local content.  XM signed an agreement with NAB agreeing not to utilize their repeaters for local content.  However, XM and Sirius have violated the spirit of the agreement and announced they will distribute local traffic and weather on their national channel.  HR 998 (Green/Pickering) has been introduced to codify the NAB agreement; instruct the FCC to examine satellite radio practices; and prevent the use of GPS to trigger local content.  SCBA is lobbying Congress to support legislation that will hold satellite radio to the terms of its original license.

HR 998 Bullet Points

HR 998 Full Text

Low Power Radio:  Senator McCain has proposed legislation (S 312) that would relax 3rd adjacent channel protection and open up licensing of thousands of interference generating micro stations.  The recommendations in this legislation are based on the MITRE research study, which the FCC has acknowledged is deeply flawed.  Broadcasters are not opposed to the concept of LPFM, but want to see proper channel interference protections held in place.  If low power stations are allowed within the 3rd adjacent range, listeners will not be able to hear the full power station, and will be cut off not only from entertainment programming, but also from important local news, including weather or other emergency information.  SCBA is lobbying Congress to retain 3rd adjacent channel protection.



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South Carolina Broadcasters Association
One Harbison Way, Suite 112
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: 803-732-1186
Fax: 803-732-4085