03.06.2009 09:55 AM
FCC Waives 100-Day Countdown Rule
Citing the potential for consumer confusion, the FCC has temporarily waived a requirement that broadcasters air a daily countdown clock to warn the public of the June 12 analog shutdown.

The DTV Consumer Education Initiative originally required certain broadcasters to run a daily countdown clock for the last 100 days prior to the original Feb. 17 shutdown date. After the shutdown was extended to June 12, the FCC revised its rules to reflect the new date, meaning that the affected stations would have to begin airing the 100-day countdown clock on March 4.

The commission is reviewing comments it sought in changing the requirements and, with the possibility that the rules could change in the interim, it issued a temporary waiver to the 100-day countdown rule this week.

“We find that it could be confusing for viewers to see a 100-day countdown beginning on March 4, only to see a different clock in the event that we revise the requirement soon thereafter,” the commission said. “Therefore we temporarily waive the Option Two requirement to air countdown information until the effective date of the relevant rule adopted in the pending rulemaking proceeding, MB Docket No. 09-17… we remind broadcasters that all other provisions of the DTV Consumer Education Initiative rules remain in effect.”

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