According to the FCC, 190 stations have already ceased analog service or plan to do so prior to Feb. 17. Another 491 are planning to go digital on Feb. 17, but must wait for an FCC green light.
The FCC today released a list of the 681 TV stations that have already shut down their analog service or that intend to shut it down on or before Feb. 17. The 681 represent 38 percent of the 1,785 full-power stations.
However, in unveiling the list, the FCC said that it may deny some of the 491stations that plan to make the switch on Feb. 17 permission to do so if it concludes that it would not be in the public interest.
“The commission may consider such action if, for example, it finds that all or most of the stations in a market will terminate their analog service on Feb. 17, and that the market is one in which many viewers are unprepared for the transition or at risk if the transition proceeds,” it said.
The FCC promised to “promptly notify” any station that it decides should not go early.
Two years ago, Congress passed a law mandating that all stations cease analog operation and switch to digital-only broadcasting by Feb. 17.
However, concerned that the America public would not be ready by that date, Congress last week voted to extend the deadline to June 12. President Obama favors the extension is expected to sign the measure.
The legislation allows TV stations to make the switch prior to June 12 if they choose, subject to FCC approval.
To get a handle on how many stations are opting for the early switch, the FCC last week asked that such stations notify it of their intentions by today.
According to the FCC count, 190 stations have already cease analog service or plan to do so prior to Feb. 17. The other 491 are planning to do it on Feb. 17.
For the full list click here. The stations in bold and red are the 681 that hppe to be digital after Feb. 17.