The National Association of Broadcasters is not only whole-heartedly behind the FCC’s proposal to keep some analog television station signals alive briefly after the DTV transition, it wants the program expanded. In comments to the FCC, NAB called for new eligibility regs that will allow more stations to participate, along with expedited applications procedures to maximize station participation.
As originally proposed by the FCC, 76 of the 210 Nielsen DMAs would have no obvious candidate station to maintain an analog signal.
NAB proposes to have five-to-eight minute instructional videos prepared in both English and Spanish to run on the analog feeds, which figure to answer many simple and commonly-asked questions, thereby heading off a phone call to the proper authorities. The video would also direct the consumer to the proper phone bank the video fails to nip a given problem in the bud.
RBR/TVBR observation: The weakest link of the transition, it seems to us, will be having knowledgeable people prepared to answer phones. The NAB, FCC and various state and local organizations have all indicated they will pitch in on this, but by its very nature the process will be cumbersome and expensive, and since its need is temporary, it will be untested. The more phone calls that are avoided completely, the better. The FCC should honor NAB’s request ASAP.