Public Broadcasters Get $36 Million for DTV

Public television stations across the country - 97 of them - will receive $36 million in federal grants for the digital transition, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced. An additional $6 million will go to public radio, distance learning and replacement of television equipment at seven stations.

Noncommercial television stations are required to begin digital broadcasts by May 1, 2003.

The $42 million in grants will be matched by more than $74 million in funds raised by the stations, the NTIA said.

The funds are part of the NTIA's Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP). The NTIA is part of the Commerce Department.