House Approves DTV Delay Legislation 
Home Theater News Industry-Trade News
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Thursday, 05 February 2009

Yesterday, the House voted 264-158 in favor of pushing back the cut-off date for analog TV from February 17th to July 12th, 2009.  The Senate has already approved an identical bill, and it will be sent to President Obama who is expected to sign it into law shortly.

Despite attempts by House Republicans to open the bill up to amendments, the argument by Democrats that millions of households were not prepared for the switch in programming won out.  The bill was moved quickly through the House under a “closed rule” umbrella, which effectively denied amendments to be proposed or voted on.

Republicans failed to see their six amendments considered, one of which would have freed up millions of dollars toward the backlogged coupon program, and another which would have allowed analog transmissions to be used for emergency services.

The numbers from Neilson showed that approximately 6.5 million Americans would not be ready for the initial February 17th deadline.  The delay means that more Americans will be able to apply for coupons, and more consumer outreach programs in the form of education and call centers will be able to ease the nation’s transition to digital broadcasts.

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