The National Association of Broadcasters’ Jack Sander has fired off a letter the FCC Chairman Kevin Martin detailing the multipronged plans the NAB has to assure viewer awareness of the upcoming 2/17/09 conversion to digital television broadcasting. At risk are 19.6M over-air-only households, and another estimated 14.7M households with unconnected secondary over-air-only receivers. "The goal of our campaign is for no consumer to lose access to free local television programming after February 17, 2009, due to a lack of information about the DTV transition," Sander wrote. From the letter, he detailed the following elements of the NAB plan. * On-air announcements: Four to six fully produced and edited 30-second announcements on the transition, and at least one 60-second version, that will be distributed to stations later this year; * Story Ideas and Copy for stations to use in their newscasts; * Video package: NAB will produce and distribute a DTV video package with B-roll footage of transmission towers, converter boxes, interviews and other useful footage to help stations report on the DTV transition; * Graphic elements: Graphics, artwork and other production elements that local stations and state broadcasters groups can use to create their own spots; * "Donut" spots: One or two "donut" spots – 30-second advertisements produced on the front and back ends, with room in the middle for a sound bite from a local official or news anchor – where local stations can insert their local talent into the DTV public service announcements; * DTV educational TV program: A half-hour educational television program on the DTV transition that local commercial and public television stations can air when appropriate; * "Crawls": NAB will be working on and consulting with local stations and networks on how best to use "crawls" – or DTV-related messages that scroll across television screens during programming – to alert consumers to the transition and drive traffic to the Web site; and * Non-English language spots: NAB is working with a number of groups that will produce spots in a variety of different languages for use on stations with non-English language programming.
TVBR observation: Viewer retention is a matter of simple survival for NAB members. Of course, the transition will not be perfect – there is a Murphy’s Law that states that while you can make something foolproof, you can’t make it damfoolproof. But fortunately, the ideal venue to reach analog television users is television, so this is one media campaign that should be perfectly targeted, and therefore, wildly successful.