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DTV 75% Simulcast Deadline Approaches

Effective Thursday, April 1, FCC rules Section 73.624f specify that DTV broadcasters must simulcast 75 percent of the video programming on their analog channel on their digital channel. Starting April 1, 2004, stations that have been switching on their DTV transmitters only during primetime hours will have increase their DTV broadcast schedule to meet the 75 percent simulcast requirement. Stations that have been broadcasting the PBS HDTV feed will likely have to change their DTV programming to meet the new requirement.

Some stations have requested and been granted waivers of the simulcast rule. Twin Cities Public Television was granted a waiver for station KTCA-DT, although it promised to simulcast KTCA analog on sister station KTCI-DT. (See RF Report for November 3, 2003).