With all the caterwauling on this list about "broadcasters abandoning OTA" and "maintaining the NTSC franchise" and other such rot, and then endlessly repeating it, it's funny how nobody has mentioned the major change in the seas and winds. Every three years, broadcasters and cable companies either renegotiate "retransmission consent" for the cable firms to carry the broadcaster's programming, or the broadcaster exercises "must carry." The terns are for three years, and generally last for three years, and the renewal date, which can vary a bit on retrans deals, occurs around this time. So, a little bit of addition - for those who can accurately quote the title of broadcast publications - leads one to deduce that the current round of deals will not only cover the "NTSC franchise" but the "8-VSB" one. That is, the February, 2009 analog cut-off date will occur within the time period of most retrans deals that are being announced now. Oftimes, during these renewal periods, broadcasters feel that they are being slighted and they consider going to court or the FCC to halt a cable firm from dropping their channel(s). IIRC, it's been more than a year since I've heard broadcasters doing such things. Judging by media reports, the pendulum has swung. All over the country, CABLE firms have gone to court and the FCC in desperate attempts to keep BROADCASTERS from removing their content from cable systems when retrans negotiations break down. One can read news reports about Sinclair (multiple markets) and Hearst-Argyle in this context, among others. It's as if cable firms have become desperate and broadcasters have become self-assured of a peaceful world were cable firms not able to "steal" programming without compensation. I mean, it's not as if cable firms are actually able to produce programming . Could it be that broadcasters are "feeling their oats" about the 8-VSB world and are "acting it out" on cable firms ? Judging by news reports, the networks have been able to negotiate beneficial agreements with cable firms in the markets where they own and operate television stations. It's the other media groups, ones that produce local-centered programming, that, by the words or cable firms and their pleadings to the FCC and court, are "squeezing" the cable firms. I suspect that the "$50 vouchers" play into the broadcasters feeling their oats. John Willkie P.S. The above is "news analysis." I literally didn't speak to any broadcasters about this topic, and haven't mentioned the general issue to a broadcaster in more than a year.