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DTV Update

On Friday, December 19, at 1 p.m. (EST), NAB will re-feed a new DTV Action Spot for intense play in rotations through January 9.

The spot, "Know It All," features two older ladies talking about how viewers have to get their coupons right now, as they might run out and it could take six weeks for the government to send them.

This spot comes in two versions - one with an announcer tag that urges action before Christmas, and a second that urges action generally (Note: the Christmas version should be killed by December 25). This spot should run prominently in rotation through early January.

In the same package, NAB will also re-distribute a round of syndicated spots by CBS/Paramount, featuring a variety of syndicated talent.

The feed, with a total of 13 spots in English and six spots in Spanish, will run approximately 14 minutes. A replay of all the spots will begin immediately after completion of the first run.

The half-hour, standard-definition feed will include:

  • Split -track audio
  • Fully produced 30-, 25/5-, 15-second "Know It All" spots (pre-Christmas)
  • Fully produced 30-, 25/5-, 15-second "Know It All" spots (general)
  • Spanish language versions will follow full run of English versions
  • Fully produced 25/5-second spots from the following CBS/Paramount syndicated programs:
          1.    "Entertainment Tonight"
          2.    "Inside Edition"
          3.    "Rachael Ray"
          4.    "Dr. Phil"
          5.    "The Doctors"
          6.    "The Insider"
          7.    "Judge Judy"

All spots are closed captioned.

A format and timing sheet for these spots, under the heading "December Action Spots," is available at

Scripts for the "Know It All" spots can be downloaded at

Analog Re-Feed
Date: December 19, 2008
Time: 13:00-13:30 EST
Satellite: Galaxy 28 (C-Band)
Transponder: C15
Location: 89 degrees West
Uplink Frequency: 6225 H
Downlink Frequency: 4000 V
Polarity: Vertical
Audio: 6.2 / 6.8 - Stereo Full-Mix

For any technical problems during the feed, contact the NAB master control room at (202) 408-3424.

All details on satellite feeds are also posted at

Run Latest DTV Action Spots
With DTV awareness above 95 percent in some polls, it is crucial for stations to focus on more detailed messaging and discontinue running older general awareness spots.

Stations should remove from their rotations all DTV action spots NAB distributed prior to November ? with exception of the "Antenna Highway" and "Not Tech Minded" if antennas and reception are an issue in your DMA.

Please emphasize a heavy rotation of the new spots being distributed this month, and the "Help Your Neighbor" and "Enjoy it Now" spots distributed in November.

Ordering Tapes of Missed Spots/30-Minute Educational Program
NAB will provide DVDs to stations that have missed the November and/or December Action spots feeds, as well as the educational program delivered earlier this year (if a FedEx or UPS number is provided to handle delivery).

However, we can no longer provide complimentary tapes.

Please contact the NAB's Mike DiSerio or call (202) 429-5493 to request any DVDs.

Tape dubs can be ordered through our authorized provider, Video Labs. The cost is around $40-50 per tape, plus shipping. Contact Anna Greene or call (301) 217-0000.

If Anna Greene is unavailable, you can also ask for Valerie Yoscak or Mary Price.

Call Center Organization
As the transition date approaches, NAB encourages stations to cooperate with other stations in their respective markets and state broadcaster associations on plans to answer phone calls from viewers after February 17.

You may consider teaming up with PBS stations to utilize their pre-established phone banks.

Additionally, local government hotlines, such as 211, have been used successfully in markets to handle calls following analog shutoff tests.

Please contact your state broadcaster association to coordinate details and organize partnerships to deal with staffing and expense issues.

Reminder: NAB compiles an extensive database on past and future analog shut-off tests in order to provide information to government and industry representatives.

Without notification from stations, our information-gathering relies primarily on news reports and/or web searches.

Please forward details on any planned, ongoing or conducted analog shut-off tests to NAB?s Mike DiSerio.

Countdown Day Issue
NAB has received a number of calls from stations asking about the correct number of days until the transition.

The potential conflict arose due to the FCC's regulation which stated that Monday, November 10 marked the start of the 100 day countdown (that day actually marked 99 days + hours remaining).

For those who started with 100 days on November 10, the graphics on February 17 should reflect "less than 24 hours" or hours remaining.

Please coordinate with the other stations in your market so that everyone is in sync with the same time remaining display.

The most important aspect of these countdown graphics is that viewers do not see different information among their local stations.

"Ask the Experts" Segment
NAB urges stations to consider including segments during their newscasts or other local programming that address potentially complex issues, like signal contour changes or antennas.

A number of stations have run DTV segments during newscasts that utilize an "expert" who answers calls directly from viewers.

This may include featuring the station's chief engineer to discuss what technical challenges some viewers might face and how to address them.

NAB recommends this approach as a longer-form way to educate viewers about the DTV transition - especially if it is in coordination with other stations in your market.

A breakdown by subject area of frequently asked questions about the digital transition is available at

Providing Coupons to Viewers
The federal government's converter box coupons have a statutory 90 day expiration date, and once a viewer applies for coupons, they cannot re-apply - even if their coupons expire.

However, the converter box coupons are transferable.

Therefore, stations might consider asking station employees to order coupons they will not use  and to make coupons available to viewers who may need them as we approach the transition.

Find more information on how viewers and stations can help those in need, including transferring coupons at

Note: The next DTV Action Items email will be distributed on Wednesday, December 31.

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