NAB Calls for ‘Safe Harbor’ on DTV Education

NAB says broadcasters are doing plenty to inform viewers about the DTV transition and don’t need any government order to tell them how to do DTV education.

So they’ve asked to the FCC to create a “safe harbor” for broadcasters who participate in NAB’s DTV education plan. Participation in the plan, NAB told commission staff in recent meetings, should guarantee that the stations are deemed “compliant with its obligations to inform viewers about the DTV transition.”

The FCC is still working on a DTV education plan, although many of the ideas floated so far—mandatory PSAs and bill inserts, for example—have been slammed by various industries for violating free speech provisions of the First Amendment.

NAB said its plan will engage consumers with TV spots ranging up to 30-minute programs, online resources, community events and various kinds of advertising. The association said 1,476 stations—84 percent of all full-power stations—are committed to its plan, and NAB is working to sign on the rest.

Broadcasters would document their efforts on a quarterly basis and provide reports to the FCC.

NAB’s plan calls for nearly $700 million in costs to make more than 98 billion “impressions” about the DTV transition to consumers.