NAB: DTV PSAs To Launch in December


Broadcasters have spent $5 billion on the DTV transition, and 92% of stations are now broadcasting in digital.

 That's according to National Association of Broadcasters President David Rehr, who outlined broadcasters DTV transition efforts in a letter to Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) on the eve of Thursday's hearing on the DTV transition.

 Industry witnesses were not invited to the hearing, but Inouye said they could weigh in at a September hearing on the same subject.

Rehr told Inouye that 40% of Americans are totally unaware of the transition, but said broadcasters had already launched a "massive" education campaign.

Rehr was anticipating concerns by legislators that the PSA portaion of that campaign had yet to hit the airwave, with less than 19 months to go before the Feb. 17 transition date. The campaign will launch in December, NAB said Thursday.

According to Rehr,  steps already taken by the NAB include research to identify target populations so PSA campaigns could be tailored to them, opening a DTV speakers bureau; and outreach to other countries running campaigns. That includes the UK with Rehr saying the head of the UK DTV Transition Campaign is visiting NAB on July 31.

 He also outlined the size of the PSA campaign.

Rehr said the PSA package, at a minimum, would include: four to six 30-second spots and at least one 60 for "all 1,169" member station; a couple of 30-second donut spots (no, not plugging the new Simpsons' movie) with a hole in the middle for a sound bite from an official or anchor; "teaser" copy to plug the transition in newscasts and send viewers to; B-roll footage of towers, converter boxes and more to illustrate stories about DTV; a 25-minute special; and foreign language spots.

 Rehr also said NAB will work with networks to agree on the use of crawls during programs to give viewers the heads-up.