WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Association of Broadcasters today announced the launch of TVAnswers.org, a new website to inform Americans about how they can continue receiving their local broadcast TV stations during the incentive auction repack process. The website is part of a consumer education campaign to keep viewers apprised of channel changes during the repack’s 39-month timeline.
The Federal Communications Commission recently completed the first-ever “incentive auction,” in which broadcast TV spectrum – or airwaves – was auctioned off to the wireless industry for mobile broadband usage. To accommodate these wireless services, over 1,000 broadcast TV stations across the country will need to transition to new channel assignments over the next three years. Broadcasters will change channels at different times during 10 different phases, with the final phase estimated for completion on July 3, 2020.
TVAnswers.org offers educational sections explaining to viewers why the transition is occurring, when stations in their area are changing channels and what steps they need to take to continue receiving local TV stations. For the estimated 77 million Americans who rely on an antenna to watch local broadcast TV, they will need to “rescan” their television sets after their local stations change channels. While some viewers will need to rescan more than once, no new equipment or services are needed. Viewers who subscribe to a pay-TV service such as cable or satellite will not need to take action.
“NAB is devoted to working with Congress, the FCC, the wireless industry and third-party groups to keep the public informed throughout this enormously challenging undertaking,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Broadcast TV remains Americans’ top source for local news, weather, community programming and emergency information. The broadcast industry is committed to ensuring no viewer is left without these services.”
NAB will be rolling out more tools for local TV stations in the coming weeks, including talking points, sample scripts and crawls and even automated phone messaging. Early next year, NAB will roll out customizable spots for stations to use as well as a video to help viewers understand how to rescan their TV sets.
TVAnswers.org is available for consumers in both English and Spanish.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.