SOME MADISON TELEVISION STATIONS WILL CONVERT TO DIGITAL ON FEBRUARY 17; NATIONAL CONVERSION TO OCCUR IN JUNE
A number of the local television stations serving the Madison television market will convert to digital-only broadcasting on Tuesday February 17th. The announcement was made today, jointly, by WKOW and WISC.
A DTV bill that moves the required national digital conversion date to June 12, 2009 was approved by the House today. With Senate approval of the bill already in place, the President is expected to sign it into law in the next week to ten days. This new legislation, though, still allows for stations to convert earlier if they so choose, which area broadcasters have elected to do, consistent with Federal Communications Commission rules.
In a joint statement the stations' representatives said their research indicates that less than one percent of the households in the Madison market are not yet prepared for the conversion from analog to digital. The stations said they would be ready to answer any questions viewers might have about the digital conversion through their websites or via phone calls to the stations during business hours.
"The stations in this market have done an outstanding job of educating the public to this conversion and that it would occur on February 17. We greatly appreciate members of Congress for providing stations the flexibility to convert in February as we believe our viewers are ready," said David Sanks, General Manager of WISC.
Viewers who watch via satellite or on cable don't have to do anything. Those who watch over the air with an antenna will need to purchase a converter box or a television set with a digital receiver.
"As a result of this conversion, viewers will have many programs offered in high definition, which is of incredible quality," said Tom Allen, General Manager of WKOW. "Plus, most of the stations are offering more than one programming service, which enhances viewers' options."
It is anticipated that the stations will transition to digital-only broadcasting between 12 noon and 12 midnight on February 17. Each station will be informing their viewers of the exact time of the switch through station announcements and newscasts. For more information on the February 17th digital switch, contact:
David Sanks Tom Allen
General Manager Vice President/General Manager