The NAB hitchhiked onto an annual Washington DC event put together by one of the market’s prominent network O&Os, NBC 5 WRC-TV. The event is Health and Fitness Expo, held at the Washington Convention Center over the weekend, and the reason for the thumbs out posture was to inform attendees about the DTV transition. It’s part of the DTV Road Show, which will have logged 95K miles at 600 venues in 200 markets before the year is out.
Meanwhile, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters is making plans to educate the 600K at-risk television viewers it thinks exist in the state. It is developing its own educational program in conjunction with community organizations most likely to have existing lines of communication to those who may otherwise be left behind 2/17/09, including the elderly, the poor and those in rural areas. Beyond that, television and radio stations will be enlisted statewide to get the word out over the air via PSAs.
TVBR/RBR observation: There are national, state, and local stakeholders in every single market in America who will be working to get the word out all year long. We suspect every stakeholder worth its salt is not going to wait for some other stakeholder to make sure businesses is not disrupted when the big change occurs. The result should be that it will be very difficult for a citizen to go 2009 unaware of the transition. Will some of them ignore the warnings anyway? Of course. But we just find it difficult to believe that lack of consumer awareness will be a huge problem.