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Network affiliate groups agree to month-long DTV ‘quiet period’

The four major network affiliate organizations have signed onto a plan put together by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to support a voluntary month-long “quiet period” surrounding the February 2009 DTV transition during which broadcasters will continue to make their programming available to all distributors regardless of the status of retransmission consent negotiations, the NAB said Aug.13.

The aim of the pledge is to minimize any confusion viewers may have regarding the impact of the DTV transition on the availability of programming during the period stretching from Feb. 4, 2009, to March 4, 2009. The agreement will “help local broadcasters and government achieve our joint objective of a seamless transition to the next generation of television,” said the NAB Television Board chairman and CEO of Barrington Broadcasting, K. James Yager.

Agreement to the pledge by the boards of directors of the ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliate organizations came one day following unanimous passage of a resolution by the NAB Television Board of Directors defining the pledge.

The resolution said: “The National Association of Broadcasters and local TV stations are committed to the success of the digital television transition. In furtherance of that goal and to minimize any potential for consumer confusion during the DTV transition, NAB's Television Board of Directors and their member companies hereby commit, on a voluntary basis, to continue to make available to all their distribution partners those broadcast signals being provided as of Feb. 4, 2009, for a period of time beginning on Feb. 4, 2009, through March 4, 2009 — a full two weeks prior to and after the DTV transition date of Feb. 17, 2009. In addition, the TV board is making every effort to secure the same voluntary commitment from the television broadcast industry, including NAB's television members, the networks and the network affiliate stations.”

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