Last updated: February 9, 2009 - 9:53am
In the end, a bad brew of poor planning and politics led Congress to delay the nation's transition to all-digital television signals by three months to June 12. In the poor planning column: An underfunded coupon program to help pay for analog converter boxes; public outreach in some markets that raised concerns about whether the switch could be accomplished without a big disruption; and too little effort, too late by government agencies to deal with consumer confusion. On the political side, President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats had little to gain by going forward with the February switchover. They would have taken the heat had the Feb. 17 switch been a disaster. The delay at least gives them time to assess the political risks and attempt remediation. With television station groups now deciding whether they'll switch over before June (and incur the costs of maintaining dual signals), TelevisionWeek analyzes what went wrong.