CLINTON DIGITAL PLAN IRKS BROADCASTERS

Broadcasters are planning a lobbying blitz against a provision in the budget-balancing plan, unveiled by the Clinton Administration on Dec 7, that requires TV stations to make a quick transition from analog to digital delivery of programming.

Under the proposal, TV stations would not be forced to bid on new digital spectrum. However, they would have to complete the transition from analog to digital by the year 2005. That’s up to eight years faster than an analog-to-digital transition envisioned by the Federal Communications Commission.

The White House hopes to raise $13 billion by auctioning off the analog spectrum once the broadcast industry transition to digital is complete.

Broadcasters say they will not be able to afford the accelerated cost of converting to digital under the Clinton plan. They also claim it will result in a huge new tax on consumers, since Americans will be required to buy new digital TV sets or converter boxes to receive digital signals.

“This plan by the White House would result in a $187 billion tax on consumers,” National Assn. of Broadcasters lobbyist Jim May said.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading