Big Four Networks Don't Mind Delaying Digital Transition

ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS have lined up behind the proposal by the Obama transition team to move the DTV transition date.
Publish date:

Add Fox to the list of  networks that is OK with moving the DTV transition date if that's what it takes to successfully move viewers from analog to digital.

Fox parent News Corp. said in a statement Thursday that it "supports any efforts  to ensure that the transition to digital television is a success. Our first  concern is what’s best for our viewers, and we believe that the Obama-Biden Transition Team shares our concern. We look forward to continuing to  work with the Administration, Congress, and the FCC to achieve a smooth DTV transition."

The networks were responding t

o the request to Congress from the Obama transition team that the DTV transition date be moved

, though the Obama camp did not say by how much. It is currently set for Feb.  17, 2009, less than five weeks away. The Bush Administration didn't respond directly,

but there were indications it wants to keep the original date.

ABC has said it supports Obama's  requests, while CBS says it is, "open to the suggestion," but adds that it is open, "to any suggestion that makes the digital transition easier for our viewers. We look forward to working with the new Administration and Congress to that end.”

NBC supports the move, too. “President-elect Obama's  call to extend the DTV transition deadline is prudent and well-considered,  helping to ensure that all over-the-air households are ready to receive  digital signals on the new transition date. We look forward to working with  the new Administration and Congress to implement the President-elect's  proposal.,” the network said in a statement.

CBS will proceed as planned given that the February sweeps period  has waned in importance, the network's strategy has been to spread out the numbers of original episodes of regular series between February and March. But there are still some big events in February: the Grammys, and the premieres of the latest iterations of Survivor and The Amazing  Race. But they do not anticipate any programming changes as a direct result of any proposed or actual transition delay.