CBC Stations Launch DTV Transition PSA Campaign
Capitol Broadcasting Company and its North Carolina-based media properties have launched an aggressive campaign to inform consumers about the upcoming digital television transition. Television stations nationwide will end analog broadcasting in February 2009. Older television sets will go dark at that time, potentially leaving millions of viewers with no access to their local television stations. CBC’s campaign is designed to call attention to that threat.
“We believe that no viewer should be left behind by the DTV transition,” said WRAL-TV General Manager Jim Hefner. “Over-the-air television viewers will lose access to local news, emergency information and their favorite entertainment programs unless they are informed and take action. Our campaign is designed to reach and empower these citizens before it’s too late.”
CBC’s five television stations have begun airing PSAs that inform viewers about the transition in simple, straightforward language. Recent nationwide polls have shown that millions of Americans are still unaware of the switch to digital. The CBC messages stress awareness of the 2009 transition and specifically reach out to viewers who still use outdoor antennas or rabbit ears for reception. Over-the-air viewers tend to be poorer, less educated and more rural than viewers with cable or satellite. These factors, plus the lack of Internet access make it challenging for stations to effectively inform the very citizens who need the transition information most.
The CBC messages urge viewers to either write the station for more information or go to the WRAL.com website and type in the keyword “DTV.” Recent web usage reports already show a significant increase in traffic to the digital television section of WRAL.com.
“This measurable success proves once again that local television is still the best way to get the word out about important issues,” said WRAL-TV Director of Programming John Harris. “Loyal viewers expect us to help them navigate their way through the system, and this campaign gives broadcasters a real opportunity for public service.”
WRAL-TV anchor David Crabtree hosts the PSAs. CBC plans to produce a new series of messages once updated information is available regarding converter box availability and the government’s coupon program.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Strange & John Harris for this capcom story.
POSTED: August 3, 2007