Univision Conducting Network-Wide Analog Shut-Off Tests

The May 16 test will be the first in a series of prime time shut-off tests for the network

Univision says its 148 owned and affilated TV stations will conduct a network-wide analog shut-off test on May 16 between 9:30 and 10 p.m., during Univision's popular Sabado Gigante program.

It will be the first of a series of prime time shut-off tests for Univision. Hispanics and other minorities are among the FCC's DTV at-risk populations because of relatively high percentages of analog-only viewership.

Other network prime time shut-off tests will follow on May 18, June 2, and June 4.

Univision is also participating in the FCC-backed national shut-off tests May 21.

That is all part of a 30-day countdown effort until June 12, when the majority of TV stations (927, says the FCC) will be pulling the plug on analog.

The Univision effort will also include DTV education segments in a variety of network shows and news interviews with FCC staffers.

Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps has been encouraging national media to focus more on the transition, but Univision was an early leader in DTV education.