DTV Date On Track To Become June 12

Bill expected to pass through House, move transition date

It looks like TV web sites across the country are going to have to reset all those DTV countdown clocks.

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has cancelled a markup on his version of a DTV bill, saying he would defer to the Senate version and work for its passage in the House, which is expected.

"I am pleased that the Senate has acted to delay the deadline, which is our only hope of mitigating the negative impact on millions of consumers," said Waxman.  "In light of the Senate action, I will work with the House Democratic Leadership to bring up the Senate bill for consideration Tuesday."

Late last week at this time there were three DTV date-change bills and no agreement on how to proceed. In the interim, Senate Democrats and Republicans came together on a compromise bill that assuaged the latter on issues like where the money to pay for the delay was coming from and how to take care of companies who won rights to reclaimed analog TV spectrum.

Now, Waxman has joined the push for the compromise bill, which looks almost identical to the one he proposed.

Broadcasters, who are now foursquare behind the delay will have another four months to make the transition, though they can switch Feb. 17 or anytime after if they are ready and able. Viewers will also be able to reapply for at least one expired coupon.