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DTV rumblings from the Western Cable Show

The Western cable show reported that attendance this month was less than 10,000. (That’s down from 17,000 last year and 30,000 in 2000).

But low attendance didn’t stop the industry talk. Many at the show surmise — including some FCC staffers — that it will take an act of Congress to get the sluggish DTV transition moving, reports the Television Digest newsletter. It quoted Rick Chessen, head of the FCC’s DTV Task Force, as saying he thinks the transition is “picking up speed.”

However, Susan Eid, aide to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, said of the 2006 analog cut-off date, “It’s just not going to happen. The date was unrealistic.” The newsletter also reports FCC Media Bureau chief Kenneth Ferree saying that despite “a new sense of urgency (in Congress) to get the spectrum back come hell or high water,” that “frankly, it’s not terribly likely.”

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