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April 18, 2005
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Blasts CEA DTV Transition Delay Plan

--Calls On Set Makers to Stop 'Perpetuating a Fraud' on Consumers--

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Broadcasters today called on the FCC to reject the Consumer Electronics Association's effort to delay implementation of FCC rules designed to encourage the rollout of digital television.

NAB noted that CEA has petitioned the FCC to eliminate the requirement that at least 50% of television sets shipped after July 1, 2005 have DTV tuners. "If CEA's stated goal is to speed the DTV transition, then the last thing it should be seeking is a delay only to sell more analog TV sets," said NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts.

NAB and the Association for Maximum Service Television will file comments at the FCC today urging the Commission to reject CEA's proposal. Instead of adopting CEA's plan, the FCC should consider moving up its requirement that 100% of TV sets shipped after July 1, 2006 have DTV tuners, according to the NAB/MSTV petition.

NAB noted that local broadcasters continue to lead the transition to digital and high definition television, with 1,500 stations now on air in DTV. Moreover, NAB noted the huge increase in HDTV programming in primetime, late night, and major sporting events offered by local broadcasters.

NAB called on TV set makers to immediately begin warning consumers of the possible obsolescence of analog TV sets, and to fully embrace the FCC's DTV tuner timetable.

"CEA member companies continue to sell millions of analog TV sets every year, while refusing to tell consumers that these sets will soon be obsolete or need converters to work in the digital era," said Fritts. "It is time for CEA to stop perpetuating this fraud on the American consumer."

NAB noted that CEA opposed the FCC's "DTV tuner mandate" and later lost its lawsuit challenging the requirement.

Fritts said the DTV transition will provide CEA member companies with the "greatest transference of wealth in the history of consumer electronics." Yet CEA has "consistently thrown roadblocks" in the path of the transition by fighting the DTV tuner mandate, failing to properly educate retailers about the transition, and refusing to tell consumers that analog TV sets may soon become obsolete.

The National Association of Broadcasters is a full-service trade association that promotes and protects free, over-the-air local radio and television stations' interests in Washington and around the world. NAB is the broadcaster's voice before Congress, federal agencies and the courts. NAB also serves a growing number of associate and international broadcaster members. Information about NAB can be found at

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