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April 10: Broadcasters’ First FCC DTV Education Report Due

According to an FCC Public Notice issued March 28, the effective date for new rules governing local broadcasters’ progress reports on educating viewers about the upcoming DTV era was the end of the first quarter (March 31). Stations have been instructed to electronically file their first quarterly report (FCC Form 388) next Thursday, April 10.

In the report, a station must select a plan that applies to its analog channel and primary digital stream (with multicast channels not to be included), according to an NAB advisory this week to its television members. Included in this first report should be a station’s entire DTV education outreach efforts for the first quarter of 2008.

The FCC also seeks details of broadcasters’ other DTV activities (i.e., on-air initiatives, online activity, and community events), but noting these activities is not mandatory under FCC rules. Nevertheless, NAB is encouraging stations to provide as much detailed information on their ongoing DTV consumer education efforts as possible. (NAB said it had proposed the basic reporting plan eventually adopted by the commission.)

The FCC has posted its Form 388 on its Web site. The quarterly report due on April 10 must be filed electronically in MB Docket No. 07-148 using the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System database.