NAB unveils 697M DTV plan


As promised, the National Association of Broadcasters is spearheading a major educational campaign aimed at making a success of the transition to digital broadcasting. Included in the package is a guarantee of at least 327M worth of air time to get the word out.

Part of the NAB plan is to make sure Congress is up to speed, and to that end it put an ad in Capitol Hill newspaper The Politico asking "Are your constituents ready for the switch?" The ad directs legislators to a portion of the NAB website dedicated to answering most questions about what’s coming and what people need to do to get ready.

The announcement got the attention of at least one key player. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin (R) said, "Today’s action by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) will play a significant role in ensuring Americans will have a smooth transition to digital television. A successful completion of the digital transition depends upon government and industry working together in promoting consumer awareness." He pledged to make sure the FCC is up to speed on the policy side of the equation.

TVBR observation: As we’ve noted many times, there is no better vehicle to teach consumers about changes to television than television. A campaign placed there will be reaching the target demographic, people who use television, by definition. We think this change will be kind of like Y2K. There were a lot of apocalyptic predictions, but in the end, nothing much happened.