ION Launch DTV Campaign – Will Cable TV Loose Subscribers?

ION Media Networks, a countrywide TV net launches a new DTV educational campaign today. ION has a special part of their website dedicated to the DTV transition. And many of their OTA channels are already broadcast in digital.

The amount of local DTV campaigns are increasing on a week by week basis right now. And each day more and more consumers are waking up to the forthcoming transition “only” 456 days away. Thats the way it should be. But I think right now the stakeholders are doing a great job to build a critical mass of information about the transition. What I wonder is how they will receive and answer questions and rising confusion among consumers. And are the prepared to grasp a debate among consumers? The debate about the Why? Why am I as a consumer forced to buy new equipment to be able to watch my shows?

I am curious about how that debate may unfold. It might bloom during springtime when the fact has started to sink into the public consciousness. And more interesting: who is going to answer what questions? Who will feel responsible to meet consumers around facts that are facing consumers? I think there will be misunderstandings like that it is the government that are forcing consumers to switch. That is true in one way but the real answer is that the TV industry really want to switch – DTV is cheaper and easier to broadcast, with better quality and greater possibilities to develop the media as never before.

That bring forward another question: Will cable TV companies loose viewers and subscribers?

When DTV over-the-air is in full force perceived as a “new” way to watch TV with greater local choices than before and at no monthly cost – will consumers that feel tied by the cable companies switch to this kind of TV?

The DTV campaigns will push many to go online and check out the facts. Many cable viewers will believe that they are affected by the transition. Will they take another step – to leave the monthly subscription model for free TV?

That haven’t been the case during Sweden’s transition to DTV – but who knows about the U.S?

Lets get back to the debate – when it is in motion.

Anders Bjers


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