Well, in 2006 or so all current analogue frequencies will become digital, and if the station doesn't have digital abilities, its frequencies will be revoked and given to someone else. So it isn't an immediate punishment, but it means the stations would have to go out of business in a few years assuming the transition takes place. Also, imagine you were the only analogue station remaining when everything else is digital (and hopefully HD) - nobody would watch you!
People living in affected communities might adopt the strategy of publicizing this. For example, the local (print) newspaper could receive a letter with copies of these documents, admonishing the station. Newspapers tend to be critical of TV stations when they have the opportunity (provided they are not owned by the same company).
Go slap 'em around FCC! We doubled the amount of bandwidth they could have and they sat around twiddling their thumbs, yank their damn licenses if they don't move! Let Charlie (Ergen) start broadcasting ABC/CBS/NBC HDTV signals into markets where the local stations are dragging their feet!
Let's hope Pat Robertson doesn't politcize this problem with TBN stations to claim the government is waging war on religion. He could do a lot of damage putting out distorted information to his followers.
Hmm, I don't think they should yank their digital licenses. Far from it. I think they should pull their analog licenses and give them all the time in the world to convert to digital. That way, they can continue to use their existing tower, feedline and antenna. Plus they won't have the electric bill from running two stations at the same time.
For less than $500 the now analog-free station can provide a local cable company with a digital STB for OTA reception. Bingo, the laggard station has little transition costs, is still on cable (and possibly satellite) and looks better than ever to those >70% of viewers who don't use an OTA antenna. Sounds like a good plan, right?
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