WASHINGTON, DC The National Association of Broadcasters announced today that television stations across the U.S. have embraced a pro-consumer initiative ensuring continued television service in the weeks leading up to and following the digital television transition.
The NAB action came in the form of a resolution passed unanimously by the NAB Television Board of Directors and reads as follows:
The National Association of Broadcasters and local TV stations are committed to the success of the digital television transition. In furtherance of that goal and to minimize any potential for consumer confusion during the DTV transition, NAB's Television Board of Directors and their member companies hereby commit, on a voluntary basis, to continue to make available to all their distribution partners those broadcast signals being provided as of February 4, 2009; for a period of time beginning on February 4, 2009 through March 4, 2009 a full two weeks prior to and after the DTV transition date of February 17, 2009. In addition, the TV board is making every effort to secure the same voluntary commitment from the television broadcast industry, including NAB's television members, the networks and the network affiliate stations.
The voluntary industry pledge has been endorsed by the following NAB Television Board member companies: ABC, Inc., NBC TV Network, ION Media Networks, Univision, Telemundo, Belo, Barrington Broadcasting, Bonneville International Corp., Post-Newsweek Stations, Gannett Broadcasting, Citadel Communications, Hearst-Argyle Television, LIN TV Corp., Morgan Murphy Media, Media General Broadcast Group, Dispatch Broadcast Group, Cox Television, Meredith Broadcasting Group, News-Press and Gazette Broadcasting, Raycom Media, Quincy Newspapers, E.W. Scripps TV Station Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Freedom Communications, Young Broadcasting and Woods Communications.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was fully briefed on the voluntary broadcast industry outreach effort in a Monday conference call with NAB Joint Board Chairman Jack Sander, Senior Advisor to Belo Corp., and NAB Television Board Chairman K. James Yager, President and CEO of Barrington Broadcasting.
In addition, NAB President David K. Rehr notified Chairman Martin of the NAB Board action in an Aug. 11 letter.
"By approval of the resolution, NAB's Television Board of Directors is committing to the FCC that companies will not withhold broadcast signals during this important transition period," wrote Rehr. "As the number of companies and stations joining this effort continues to grow, we will keep you and your fellow commissioners updated. America's television broadcasters will continue to focus on educating the public on the importance of the digital transition. A successful transition is a top priority of NAB and we will continue to show leadership in our public-private partnership."
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.