Univison to Conduct Network-Wide DTV Test

Univision Communications will be the first broadcast network to conduct a network-wide analog shutoff test as the nation counts down the days to the TV industry’s digital broadcast transition on June 12. The Spanish-language network scheduled the test for Saturday, May 16, during Sábado Gigante (Giant Saturday), between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Univision’s TeleFutura network will conduct its analog shutoff test during La Tijera (The Scissors) on Monday (May 18) between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Both networks will conduct subsequent tests on June 2 and June 4.

Hispanic households are among the groups least prepared for the transition. According to Nielsen as of May 10, 4.9 percent of Hispanic TV households are totally unprepared for DTV broadcast compared to 2.9 percent of the general population.

The tests will allow viewers to check out the status of the TV signals in advance of the June 12 deadline.

“With less than 30 days until the DTV transition, Univision recognizes that we must leverage all of our platforms to ensure that Hispanic viewers take action,” said Cesar Conde, chief strategy officer and executive vp of Univision.

In addition, the company’s two broadcast networks and their 148 affiliated and owned stations, will also participate in the FCC national shut off test scheduled for May 21.

In the next 30 days, Univision stations will be able to air a the network’s fifth DTV special, featuring Don Francisco, the host of Sábado Gigante. Since 2007, Univision has broadcast four 30-minute DTV specials, aired more than 100,000 DTV PSAs and provided coverage in its local and national news programming.

On the local level, Univision and TeleFutura TV and radio stations will air interviews with FCC representatives and Consumer Reports who will talk about DTV activities on local public affairs programs and news segments. Univision.com will provide extended coverage, including a daily countdown, clips from Univision TV show, educational articles and technical information.