DC Broadcasters United in Transition Message

Broadcasters in the nation’s capital are teaming up to give a united message to local viewers: The transition to digital broadcasting is coming, so be prepared.

Beginning this week, WRC (4), WTTG (5), WJLA (7), WUSA (9), WDCA (20), WDCW (50), WFDC (14) and WZDC (25)—representing every major broadcast network, both English and Spanish—are producing and airing ads on the Feb. 17, 2009 end of full-power analog broadcasts.

The commercial spots are being “roadblocked”—airing simultaneously on all stations with news programs—during the Wednesday 5 a.m., Thursday 5 p.m. and Friday 6 a.m. programming of each station. The My Network TV and CW stations will roadblock at noon and 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. The times are designed to maximize viewer attention and a similar schedule will air next week.

“This is the first salvo in an elaborate, multi-pronged marketing campaign designed by broadcasters to prepare for this significant shift,” said Michael Jack of WRC.

The spots will feature the top talent of each station presenting the message that DTV is coming with clearer pictures and sound and additional programming choices.

The ads are designed to help viewers understand the transition including the need for digital-to-analog converter boxes for many viewers to continue receiving free, over-the-air TV on their older sets. The ads will also describe how viewers may qualify for the $40 coupons the government is making available toward the purchase of converter boxes.