NEW YORK, June 10 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Univision Communications Inc. announced today the latest phase of the Company’s campaign to raise awareness about the upcoming transition to digital television (DTV) entitled “Escuadrón Digital” (Digital Squad), a grassroots and on-air initiative using a one-on-one approach to ensure viewers are informed and prepared for the DTV transition in February 2009. The company announced the new phase following the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation event in Washington, D.C. at which it received the Service to America President’s Special Award for its multi-media digital transition awareness campaign.
“Escuadrón Digital” will reach out directly to communities across the country through local events, DTV Town Hall meetings and by deploying street teams that visit community and senior centers and select homes. The “Escuadrones” (Squads) will help viewers determine if television sets are analog or digital, help with coupon applications, as well as assist with the purchase and installation of converter boxes.
“Univision is the champion of Hispanic America. In this role we recognize that it is key to inform and motivate our viewers to take action on DTV as early as possible and ensure a smooth transition,” said Cesar Conde, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Univision Communications Inc. “‘Escuadrón Digital’ builds on an extremely successful campaign to date, leverages our understanding and connection to our viewers and adds a personal approach to our awareness efforts.”
As part of the “Escuadrón Digital” effort, Univision is creating a national group that features Carlos Calderón, host of Galavisión’s “Acceso Máximo” (All Access), as the squad captain and analog-to-digital ‘geek’ who will give viewers a digital analysis of their homes; Tony Dandrades, from Univision’s popular newsmagazine show “Primer Impacto” (First Impact), as the converter box tech who will demonstrate how to install converter boxes; digi diva Lilia Rodriguez Luciano from TeleFutura’s “Escándalo TV” (ShowBiz TV), who will help a selected viewer purchase an appropriate converter box; and the beloved Martica from “El Gordo y La Flaca” (The Scoop and the Skinny) who will help the squad get ready for their “missions” with her delicious coffee. These efforts will be replicated at the local level by the Univision Television Group.
The footage from the squad’s missions and assignments will premiere in July 2008 as part of “TV Digital … Estás Preparado?” (Digital TV … Are you ready?), a Univision Network special. Some of the squad’s assignments will also be featured in 30-second vignettes that will air on the network through February 2009. The “Escuadrón Digital” initiative also includes in-program education segments in national shows, national radio public service announcements (PSA’s) and a dedicated microsite on Univision.com (Uniclave: TV Digital) with comprehensive information and links to the coupon application program.
Univision launched the first and most aggressive multi-media digital transition awareness campaign in October 2007. Since the campaign’s launch, Univision has aired DTV specials, covered the issue through local and national news and public affairs programs and has hosted interactive events across the nation to facilitate the DTV transition process for Hispanics. Additionally, Univision worked with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on educational efforts that include a toll-free information hotline with Spanish-language capability to handle questions regarding the DTV conversion. In addition, the company has conducted numerous town hall meetings and events in cities including Chicago, San Francisco, Fresno and Dallas, reaching thousands of individuals.
“We are very grateful for the recognition from the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation and for the partnership with NAB, NTIA and the FCC,” added Conde. “At Univision we remain strongly committed to ensuring that every household in the country is informed and prepared for the DTV transition.”
The switch from analog TV to DTV began in 1996, when the U.S. Congress authorized the assignment of an additional broadcast channel to each TV broadcaster in order to introduce DTV service while simultaneously continuing analog TV broadcasts. In addition to improved picture and sound quality, DTV allows broadcasters to transmit multiple program streams. DTV technology also reduces the amount of spectrum needed nationwide for television broadcasting, freeing up broadcast spectrum for public safety and new wireless services. The FCC requires that all full-power television stations cease analog broadcasting on February 17, 2009.
Univision Communications Inc. is the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States. Its operations include Univision Network, the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the U.S. reaching 97% of U.S. Hispanic Households; TeleFutura Network, a general-interest Spanish-language broadcast television network, which was launched in 2002 and now reaches 85% of U.S. Hispanic Households; Galavisión, the country’s leading Spanish-language cable network; Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 63 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, the leading Spanish-language radio group which owns and/or operates 70 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and 5 stations in Puerto Rico; and Univision Online, the premier Spanish-language Internet destination in the U.S. located at http://www.univision.com Univision Communications also has a 50% interest in TuTv, a joint venture formed to broadcast Televisa’s pay television channels in the U.S. Univision Communications has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.univision.net .