The FCC has just released some breakdowns of stations that asked to pull the plug on analog service Feb. 17. There are 19 markets (5.1 million TV households) where all four of the major network affiliates want to go on that date and, in 17 of those, where all the stations in the market want to switch.
There are an additional 15 markets (2.3 million TV households) where not all four, but man, want to go Feb. 17. The commission has not released a list of those markets, but they are some of the markets the FCC is giving special attention to as it decides which stations can go ahead and switch and which ones will have to continue in analog in the public interest.
The FCC had to make those calls after Congress changed the DTV hard date from Feb. 17 to June 12. TV stations that still wanted to switch on Feb. 17 had to tell the FCC by Feb. 9, and 491 of them said they wanted to go Feb. 17, as the government has been telling them for years they had to.
The FCC has said that it may deny some of those requests where the move would negatively impact viewers.
Acting Chairman Michael Copps has said the FCC would inform stations as soon as possible whether they would be able to pull the plug Feb. 17.