The FCC has released a Public Notice reminding TV stations to update their FCC Form 387 DTV Transition Status Reports by October 20, 2008.  If you will recall, these Reports were filed by stations earlier this year (and updated in July) outlining the steps remaining for the stations to complete the transition to DTV.

As we’re now coming down the home stretch, stations that have not already completed the transition to digital must once again update their status reports.  Specifically, stations that by October 20th have not filed a covering license application and notified the FCC that they are operating with full and final DTV facilities must update their Form 387 DTV Status Report by October 20.

A copy of the Public Notice is available here.  Stations should make sure that the Form 387 provides:  (1) the station’s detailed plan for the remaining steps in the transition, (2) dates for completion of construction and commencement of full, final DTV operations, and (3) plans for terminating existing service (e.g., reduction or termination of analog or pre-transition digital service).  All stations that have not completed their full and final DTV facilities by October 20th need to review the status of their DTV transition and update the Form 387 accordingly.

In addition, stations are reminded that the Commission’s DTV Orders contain specific rules regarding the early termination or reduction of analog service.  In particular, stations that intend to permanently reduce or cease analog operations prior to November 19, 2008, must have obtained authority from the FCC to do so and must have aired the appropriate viewer notifications.  For stations intending to permanently reduce or cease analog operations after November 19th, but before the February 17, 2009 switchover do not require prior FCC approval, however, the station must give the FCC 30-days advance notice, and must also air 30 days of viewer notifications letting the audience know that the analog will be terminated early.  Stations should also include this information in their Form 387 reports so that the FCC knows when the station intends to permanently terminate their analog service.