Univision L.A. DTV Test Prompts Thousands to Action

Phone bank operators from KMEX Univision 34 in Los Angeles this month took more than 3,000 calls from viewers and helped processed more than 1,600 applications for converter box coupons as a result of the station’s most extensive test on DTV readiness to date.

During a 19-hour period on Dec. 3, KMEX shut down its analog signal once per hour from 5 a.m. until midnight. Each test lasted 60 seconds, informing viewers of the test, the actual shut off and providing instructions on what to do if they did not have a signal during the test. Viewers were encouraged to go online or call the government sponsored toll-free number (888) DTV-2009.

Univision couldn’t say how many calls were actually made to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, but the organization’s Web site and toll-free number were constantly promoted. Still, KMEX called the DTV readiness test a “tremendous success” in generating action among viewers. Univision is planning another test for Los Angeles for Jan. 15.

In total, Univision has conducted or participated in DTV readiness test in 22 markets: Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento and Bakersfield, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson, Ariz.; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; Puerto Rico; Raleigh, N.C.; and Salt Lake City.

The KMEX test was the most extensive.