San Francisco TV stations delay analog shutdown

At a meeting February 5, the heads of the 11 television stations broadcasting from San Francisco’s Sutro Tower decided to delay the analog shutdown until the new deadline just passed by Congress and the Senate. The new date of June 12 will add 84 days to the transition in order to assist viewers not yet ready. This also means that stations waiting until June 12 will also have higher electric bills and possible construction delays on permanent DTV facilities. As a result, Sutro Tower has just started a multimillion dollar project to add a new main and standby community antennas for most all stations. Problems concerning the construction delays and how that would affect the contractor were discussed at the meeting and have been worked out.

Also of concern are the two stations that are now broadcasting on out-of-core DTV channels and need to jump to channels now occupied by analog stations. KTVU is now broadcasting on DTV Channel 56 and will switch to DTV Channel 44 after the transition, but KBCW is currently using Channel 44 for its analog signal. In addition, KRON, which is now using DTV Channel 57, will switch to Channel 38, which KCNS is currently using for its analog signal. The local ABC O&O KGO is currently on Channel 7 analog and Channel 24 DTV but will switch back and use Channel 7 for its digital after the transition.

There are several stations in surrounding areas that plan to use currently occupied analog channels after the transition. With this staggered switch, there could be interference problems for viewers in some areas.