03.16.2005 08:00 AM
FCC grants DTV extensions to 85 stations

The FCC has granted DTV construction extensions to 85 television stations. Each of the stations — 40 commercial and 45 noncommercial — had already been granted earlier extensions for missing deadlines due to a variety of reasons.

Because the stations were asking for a third delay, a vote was required last week by the full FCC. Of the 85 stations, three were cited for not having justifications for the delay. All others have made “reasonable and diligent efforts to construct” their DTV facilities, the commissioners found.

All the stations were granted an extra six months. The three admonished stations, however, must now get on the air by the end of the extension period or lose their digital licenses.

The FCC said that 1491 out of 1680 TV stations are now broadcasting some level of a DTV signal. That leaves 189 operating under an extension, including those granted new extensions last week.

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