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New DTV Education Campaign

The major broadasting, cable, and consumer electronics associations are preparing to announce a joint DTV education campaign, likely with either a conference call or press conference Feb. 14..

A spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association confirms that the industries have formed a coalition of those three associations and others to help the FCC and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) get the word out about the Feb. 17, 2009, switch from analog to digital TV and the government-subsidized converter-box program for viewers' analog-only sets.

CEA spokesman Jason Oxman described it as a continuation of discussions the three associations began after the DTV transition bill was passed.

The industries have already pledged to spread the word, with NAB forming a task force to oversee its transition education effort, but they have now decided to team up to do it.

NAB and the Consumer Electronics Association teamed once before on a DTV/HDTV campaign, but split up acrimoniously. NAB and the National Cable & Telecommuniations Association differ on various DTV-related issues, including conversion of the DTV signal to analog and multicast must-carry. But all have been called upon to help, and agreed to do so, by a cash-strapped NTIA that was given only $5 million by Congress for a consumer awareness campaign, or a couple of spots in a Super Bowl.