Analog closing in on its final 100 days


We are rapidly approaching the T-Minus 100 Days and Counting point in the DTV transition, and on Monday 11/10/08 an all-star lineup of regulators, stakeholders and interested observers is planning a get-together to commemorate the event. NBC newser David Gregory will moderate the event, and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will head the guest list which also includes NAB President/CEO David K. Rehr.

Others participating in the event include FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, NTIA’s Meredith Attwell Baker, AARP CEO Bill Novelli, Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association, Chris McLean of the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition, NCTA’s James Assey, Paula Kerger, President/CEO of PBS, and Univision honcho Joe Uva, CEO.

So far, over 32M converter box coupons have been requested, and over 13M have been redeemed. NTIA says it is receiving between 125K-130K coupon requests per week.

Meanwhile, NAB praised retailer Rite Aid for prominently marketing a $40 converter box, matching the face value of the NTIA coupons, thereby amounting to a free box. In a letter to Rite Aid, Rehr wrote, “I want to congratulate you for running a special on converter boxes to make the net cost for consumers zero. I hope other retailers will follow your terrific example and provide similar deals on converter boxes for their customers.”

RBR/TVBR observation: With the economy the way it is, it is all the more critical that broadcasters do everything possible to get this right. We suggest that you set up your own rapid response team that will be ready to hit on all cylinders 2/17/09 to deal with viewer complaints.