06.02.2003 12:00 PM
On-air DTV stations by the numbers

The NAB updated its DTV station list last week to include 16 new stations, made up of both commercial and public broadcast facilities. This brings the NAB’s current total to 901 digital stations operating in 189 U.S. markets.

Meanwhile, the FCC’s Web site lists a total of 1,081 digital stations on-the-air in the U.S. (both commercial and public stations), with 493 fully licensed and 588 operating at low-power under Special Temporary Authority (STA); as of May 21, 2003.

KTBS-DT Shreveport, La., signed on September 3rd, 2002, using a Larcan Landmark digital transmitter with two IOT tubes at one million watts ERP.

The FCC also reports that 1,587 stations (94 percent of the total) have been granted either construction permits or licenses necessary to build a digital facility.

Of the 843 commercial stations that sought a first-extension (six months) from the May 1, 2002 deadline to complete the construction of their DTV facilities, 772 were granted, the Commission said. 602 stations sought second-extensions and 527 were granted, 68 were dismissed, and seven are pending. Of the 84 third-extension requests, 4 were dismissed and the rest are pending.

Finally, 214 public stations asked for first-extensions. Three were dismissed, 195 were granted, and 16 are currently pending.

Of the 40 top 10 market network affiliates, that were required to begin digital broadcasts in 1999, 38 have constructed facilities and are on-the-air in digital (WNBC-DT and WABC-DT were on-the-air prior to the World Trade center collapse Sept. 11, 2001, but are now operating at low-power from the Empire State Building), according to the FCC.

In DMAs 11-30, there are 79 network affiliates that were supposed to be on-the-air by May 1, 2002. Thus far 70 have constructed their fully licensed DTV facilities and five are operating under STA.

The NAB says that 97.67 percent of U.S. TV households now have access to a digital signal delivered over the air, 78.06 percent of the more than 106 million U.S. TV households are in markets with five or more broadcasters airing DTV and 46.34 percent are in markets with eight or more broadcasters sending digital signals.

For more information visit www.nab.org and www.fcc.gov.

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