Television viewers in Utah will have a few months longer to prepare for the planned switch from an analog signal to digital following an "about face" by virtually every major TV station in the state.

The Utah Broadcasters Association said Friday that all but one television station in Utah would delay the switch to digital transmission until June 12, 2009, falling in line with a plan put forth by Congress. On Thursday, all major television networks, including CBS Corp. and NBC Universal agreed to delay switching to exclusively digital broadcasts, a day after Congress acted to hold off the transition, which had originally been scheduled for Feb. 17.

Earlier this week, six commercial stations in Utah had planned to make the transition on the original date mandated by the federal government. However, the owners of KTVX decided to keep the analog signal on until June 12, prompting KUTV, KSL-TV, KSTU and KJZZ to also delay their switch until June 12, said Dale Zabriskie, president of the Utah Broadcasters Association.

He noted that KUCW Ch. 30, would stick with its planned switch to a digital signal on Feb. 17. Three public stations, KUED, KUEN and KBYU-TV had already decided to wait until June 12.

On Thursday, CBS, Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, News Corp.'s Fox and General Electric Co.'s NBC and Telemundo Group Inc. had agreed to continue broadcasting in analog signals on stations they own until the new June 12 deadline, said Michael Copps, acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

The government mandated the switch in order to raise money and to provide clearer pictures and more programming, in addition to freeing up airwaves for advanced wireless services and emergency-response networks.

The House on Wednesday voted to postpone the shutdown of analog TV signals to June 12, to address growing concerns that too many Americans wouldn't be ready by the Feb. 17 deadline that Congress set three years ago. The Senate passed the measure unanimously last week.

The delay was a victory for the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress, who had maintained that the previous administration mismanaged efforts to ensure that all consumers — particularly poor, rural and minority Americans — would be prepared for the switchover.

The Nielsen Co. estimates that more than 6.5 million U.S. households that rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air broadcast signals still are not ready. People who subscribe to cable or satellite TV or have a newer TV with a digital tuner will not be affected.

Contributing: Bloomberg News; Associated Press.

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