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FCC Spending $1M on DTV Ads with AARP

The FCC is ramping up its investment in DTV education--it recently got $20 million from Congress for that purpose.

First there was the $350,000 NASCAR sponsorship, now comes word that the FCC has bought $1 million worth of advertising in AARP publications.

Seniors are one of the key target populations in terms of percentage of analog-only TV viewing and assistance in setting up DTV-to-analog converter boxes or adjusting antennas.

According to FCC sources, that $1 million gets the government a full-page in AARP's November and December bulletins, as well as a full page in its Winter magazine, Spanish and English-language editions, which come out in January.

The ads will include DTV converter box applications. The January edition may be cutting it kind of close since the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which is mailing out the coupons, is encouraging everyone to order theirs by the end of December to make sure they have enough time to get them and try them out before the Feb. 17, 2009 transition date. But it will reach a huge audience.

The AARP magazine boasts the world's largest circulation at 24 million. The Spanish-language version reaches an additional 800,000. Hispanics are also a target population given the high percentage of analog-only , over-the-air households.