It’s not a hard deadline, but the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is telling consumers that if they want to make sure they get their $40 discount on a digital-to-analog converter box, they’d best get their application in by the end of the year. The agency is relying on local press coverage to get the word out – it’s sent out press releases addressed to each state in the union showing the percentage of over-the-air television consumers who have applied for coupons and asking that other consumers get on the stick.
"There may be two months until the digital television transition concludes, but consumers who want to buy a TV converter box with a coupon should apply for it in the next two weeks or possibly risk losing use of their analog TV temporarily," said Acting NTIA Administrator Meredith Baker. "It takes approximately six weeks to apply for the coupon, buy the box and try it out so it is imperative that consumers take action by December 31 or look at other options to make the transition prior to February 17, 2009."
RBR/TVBR observation: It will obviously behoove each and every television station out there to give this advice as much play as possible. And it wouldn’t hurt for radio stations to earn a few public interest points by spreading the word as well.