Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Digital TV Delay Falls Through, Modestly Good News For Cable, Telcos

The digital transition date is on, it's off, it's on, it's... The House failed to approve the bill that was passed in the Senate that would have delayed the transition date till June. And so, for now, the switch will be turned on February 17. For the poor and elderly who have yet to get a digital converter, let alone the voucher to buy for pennies, may be left without their TV signal. For them, the solution is to either do without, purchase a converter (there is no time to get a voucher), or contact your cable, telco, or satellite provider and hook up.

"This is modestly good news for cable companies like Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), telcos like Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), and satellite TV providers like DirecTV (DTV), which expect to sign up incremental customers because of the digital transition. It's also modestly good news for wireless carriers Verizon, AT&T, and Qualcomm (QCOM), which bought billions of dollars worth of analog TV airwaves in last year's FCC auction to use for wireless services."

Will another bill be legislated in time to postpone the switchover. For now, it seems less likely. 20 days left. The clock is ticking

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