DTV Markup May Move to Oct. 20


The Senate mark-up of a DTV hard date bill may move from Wednesday, Oct. 19, to Thursady, Oct. 20, according to sources.

The bill sets a hard date of April 7, 2009, for the switch to analog broadcasting, though auctions of that spectrum will being in January 2008.

No official word on a move, but there are said to be some member conflicts with the Oct. 19 date. The hearing will also deal with bills establishing a new emergency communications system, laying down rules for IP 911 service, and mandating government disclaimers on all its packaged video news releases.

One scheduling conflict a Wednesday hearing posed for the ink-stained scribes of the media pool was how to cover that and a video competition hearing in the Judiciary Committee scheduled for the same time, though that was likely not the conflict that prompted the move.

There were several potential conflicts to choose from. Had the hearing run long, there is a Media Institute dinner that night that usually draws a Washington crowd, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is hosting a day-long seminar Oct. 19 on telecommunications policy, in conjunction with the opening of its new Public Policy Institute in Washington.
Because it deals with money to the treasury from auctions of reclaimed broadcaster spectrum, the DTV bill has to be marked up and sent to the budget committee by Oct. 26 so it can be added to a larger budget reconciliation package.

A House version of the bill was expected to be marked up next week as well to meet its budget committee deadline, but that deadline has been moved to Oct. 28 and the markup will likely be the week after next.