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Copps Block?

3:00 PM -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may provide more specifics as early as this afternoon, but an agency official earlier today said the FCC could prohibit more than 100 TV stations from terminating regular analog programming on Feb. 17, the original transition date.

On Monday, 491 TV stations notified the FCC of their intentions to switch in six days rather than delay the digital transition for up to four months per new legislation that moves the "hard" date to June 12. (See Stations Want to Flip Digital Switch Early.)

Multichannel News, citing Rick Chessen, an aide to Acting FCC Chairman Michael J. Copps, said the number of stations that could be prohibited from switching on Feb. 17 "could be anywhere from low double digits to the triple digits."

Today, Chairman Copps revealed more detail about which stations will get to switch on Feb. 17 and which ones won't, based on whether a transition on the original date serves the "public interest." Here are a couple of determining factors: how many consumers in a given market are still waiting for converter box coupons, and whether every station in a given market wants to flip the switch at the same time.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:11:55 PM
re: Copps Block? Based on a public notice posted last night, the FCC is prohibiting 123 TV stations from cutting over on Feb. 17. More to add soon...Jeff
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