CBC/Radio Canada can't meet digital TV deadline

Even though the analog-to-digital TV transition deadline is still a year away, Canadian public broadcaster CBC/Radio Canada knows it won't meet it and has told the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as much.

CBC/Radio Canada said that 27 transmitters need to be active to make the switchover but only 15 will be ready by Aug. 31, 2011. The others won't be prepared until Aug. 31, 2012. Even worse, after all 27 transmitters are active, only about 20 of the CRTC's 30 mandatory markets will be covered because some markets require two transmitters to cover English and French language services, CBC/Radio Canada VP-Chief Regulatory Officer Steve Guiton told the CRTC.

On the plus side--for those willing to invest in antennas--Guiton said that once all the transmitters are up and running, only one percent of Canadians would have to turn to cable or satellite for CBC/Radio Canada television.

The CBC/Radio Canada warning is only the latest among Canadian broadcasters suggesting that the government's plan for the analog-to-digital transition may be headed for as much trouble--and as many delays--as its cousin in the U.S. faced last year.

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