NEW YORK - More than a quarter of major U.S. TV stations intend to shut down their analog broadcasts on Feb. 17, sticking to the original date despite the wish of the Obama Administration that they delay until June.
Congress last week gave TV stations until June 12 to shut down analog broadcasts, hoping to give viewers more time to prepare. Money has run out for the federal fund that subsidizes converter boxes, and there's a wait list for the coupons.
The delay sent TV stations scrambling to figure out when to shut down analog. Most had planned for years to do it on Feb. 17, which is Tuesday, and many had scheduled engineering work.
The Federal Communications Commission said yesterday that 491 of the 1,796 full-power TV stations in the country had registered their intention to keep the Feb. 17 date.
Markets losing most or all of their major analog network broadcasts include Dayton, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Charleston, S.C. The network stations in Toledo are expected to delay the transition until June.
TVs connected to cable or satellite services are not affected by the analog shutdown.