Getting the Word Out on Digital TV

Broadcasters kick off $697 million campaign
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2007 4:33 PM CDT
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioners Michael Copps, from far right, and Deborah Taylor Tate join NAB president and CEO David Rehr during the annual FCC Breakfast at the National Association...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – What's on TV? Soon, it will be an unprecedented $697 million campaign to get the word out on the upcoming switch to digital broadcasting. Starting February 18, 2009, viewers without a digital set or special converter box won't be able to watch TV. The upcoming educational campaign "may be the largest volunteer effort in the history of television," says the National Association of Broadcasters chairman.

The campaign will include announcements in English and Spanish, plus a half hour educational program about the switch. The government will provide two $40 coupons for converter boxes to every household, free of charge. About 20% of American households still rely on on antenna for their TV needs rather than satellite or cable.