CRTC Orders Digital TV Conversion PSAs

TV regulator orders broadcasters to run ads telling Canadians to prepare for digital TV changeover.

TORONTO – The CRTC on Friday ordered domestic broadcasters to air PSAs so Canadians aren’t left shifting rabbit ear antennas when the country converts to digital TV on Aug. 31.

Conventional TV stations were told to air ads at least six times daily from May 1 indicating Canadians will move from analog to digital TV and should not be left without TV reception on Sept. 1.

The CRTC, the country's TV regulator, has estimated 857,000 households in major markets and with no cable or satellite TV service will lose their free ride after Canada follows the U.S. and converts from analog to digital TV.

The PSAs are part of a consumer awareness campaign from Ottawa to inform consumers about the digital transition.

Despite industry calls that Canada is unprepared for the digital transition, the federal government and the CRTC are pledged not to delay the Aug. 31 changeover to make way for a mobile spectrum auction.