The effort helps some 2,800 lower-power TV stations, which warned that the changeover from analog to digital TV could severely impact its small station TV businesses. Many LPTV stations run ION programming.
During selected programming, ION said it would run message crawls at the bottom of the TV screen encouraging viewers to change over the digital TV signals--either through cable or satellite providers--or through equipment offered through federal authorities.
ION will air public-service announcements in all dayparts, including prime time. In addition, it would make executives available to speak to the community about the switch.
ION will also have an online consumer education Web destination featuring digital TV spots, a DTV user guide and printable one-sheets. Videos will illustrate consumer benefits.
The promotion--which ION is calling the "broadcast triple play" for better reception, more program streams and mobile TV--mirrors those ad efforts of the National Association of Broadcasters. LPTV stations believe the February 18, 2009 changeover date is a major problem because most of those outlets haven't been given a chance to build digital facilities, and will have to continue broadcasting analog signals long after the cut-off date.