Civil Rights Group Blasts Weak Promo Campaign for Digital TV Transition

Jul 7, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights is calling the publicity campaign for the digital TV transition a failure and calling for far more to be done.
Decrying the fact that more money is spent on advertising in a U.S. Senate race in Ohio than the $5 million currently being spent to promote the national digital transition—the Federal Communications Commission has asked for up to $32 million more—the group wants Congress to take a far greater hand in publicizing, promoting and coordinating the transition.
“Despite months of education and outreach efforts by government, industry, nonprofit community organizations … many American households remain either completely unaware or only partially aware of the impending digital television transition,” the group said in a report issued today. “Those who are aware are often confused about whether they will be impacted and what actions, if any, they should take.”
The group noted that the government is getting $19.5 billion in spectrum fees from selling the spectrum freed by the switchover and said it is Congress’ responsibility to use some of that money “to ensure that communities and consumers are not unfairly and excessively burdened by the nation’s transition.”
“This is not the time for members of Congress to be ‘penny-wise and pound-foolish,’ for they will ultimately suffer the wrath of consumers and voters if the digital transition is a failure,” the group said.
An FCC spokesman said the agency will examine the report.
“We recognize the critical importance of ensuring that all Americans are aware of the digital television transition, and will take a close look at the report. We are always looking for ways to expand and further improve our outreach efforts.
“We’ve made tremendous strides in recent months to help transition Wilmington, N.C., in September and expand our grassroots community outreach efforts across the country. We also expect to launch new television public service announcements in the next few weeks.”
The FCC also said the report doesn’t reflect some of the latest steps taken by the agency, including a request to Congress for additional funding for an advertising campaign and steps taken to test the digital transition in several communities.
(2:35 p.m.: Added FCC statement)


  1. “…they will ultimately suffer the wrath of consumers and voters if the digital transition is a failure.” With onlt half of the facts out about the transition, it WILL be a failure. Talking with someone From Canadian TV last night, They predict the same doom will happen, because of lack of knowlege of “innefficiency” of the 8-vsb technology to penetrate obsticles. This is creating black holes in many “good” signal areas.
    Education consists of BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE attributes. I’m only seen the positive attributes and how this is required. Strange that you don’t see anything on what’s negative.
    Congrats to the group. But they shoudn’t do a “half assed” job with it. They need to google up the following words… “centris + DTV + gap” to show that there are problems. There’s even a youtube thing now on the issues. Its called “DTV issues” on youtube.
    PLainly put, there are too many issues, not one group being loud enough to cause a total commotion…or putting out PSA’s to that effect, to make a difference.
    WIth what little there is being done, IT WILL FAIL, 200% guarentee, if we continue with the same technology and force people to CATV accessed signal. That’s good for Sat and cable, but not for those in apartments and other places where FCC’s 1999 telecom law isn’t being enforced.

  2. Give me a break….the TV stations have been running ads for over a year now. If people aren’t ready for this it’s their own faults. There always has to be people who ruin projects like this by playing politics and naysaying. Just do it already and get it done. If someone watches that much TV that they will notice when they don’t get a signal, then they’ve seen the easy to understand ads and the programs telling them what to do, if they’ve waited to do something, it’s their own faults, the rest of us who have gotten our converter boxes shouldn’t be punished by extra time given to those who can’t do what they’re told.

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