San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
I believe that HTSA clientele along with most of America is already prepared for the DTV transition, scheduled to take place in mid-February of this year.
I also believe that many of the projected 8.5 million (Centris) that aren’t prepared, have had adequate notice and just haven’t done anything to get themselves ready.
I am adamant about the fact that it would be in the best interest of everyone involved to go forward with the original date and stay on target, but…
Have we not learned from history!
The fact is, that this huge technology shift could have a negative effect on only one person, who coincidentally lives in the middle of Nebraska, with no cable, or any chance of it; and as soon as the press got hold of it, in our less than inviting economy and national condition, our industry would have a black eye the size of a watermelon!
It is our belief that if the government had stayed on target with the funding (currently in their possession) and the coupon program was seamless and everyone was executing, so that no fingers would be pointed at our industry when the resulting 8.5 million who don’t have boxes or coupons lost television signal; we would not have taken this position.
Worse yet, the pressure exists because the government had already sold the airwaves, that are scheduled to be turned off, to wireless companies for approximately $20 billion.
I hope knowing these facts will help you understand why HTSA came out in favor of a short term delay. I certainly would not want to be known as the guy who decided to deprive a poor country farmer, with no access to cable, of his right to hear news from around the globe, for free.