Richard Courchesne presents research about households relying on over-the-air antenna television for information, 12/6/2010.






THE DAY STATIC DIED AND LEARNING BEGAN: Might digital antenna television become the cure to America’s failing education system?
by
Richard Courchesne
MC5308 – Seminar in Advertising & Public Relations
Dr. Jinbong Choi
Texas State University – San Marcos
rc1237@txstate.edu

November 22nd 2010
2010 Texas State University School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Fall 2010.
Introduction:
The following is a sociological experiment of the effective influence of broadcast television sub-channel communication: O + K.2 [CPM= GRP x 1000/aHH + s] = n (participant HH).
Knowledge is power; the power of knowing how things work, and how to work them, is power at work. Humans are creatures of routine habits, mostly seeking the simplest means of accomplishing things while using the least amount of energy. Society’s lessons learned by those who grew-up with TV: Television is the greatest persuader, then and now. People want what’s seen on TV, the manufactured desires of ease, that causes people to drive rather than walk, Google rather than searching through an alphabetical directory, microwave rather than bake, and use an electronic calculator rather than a pencil. What’s a phonebook used for, anyhow? When people want to learn about something, they ask someone to “show them, or teach them how,” or learn from watching a television set. People prefer to learn any other way, than reading the words of written manuals with time-consuming boring in-depth instructions or directions. Relaxing by reading a good book is no longer the culturally favored leisure practiced by many in American society, today. Some researchers believe this phenomenon is a byproduct of an American school system that focuses on the “right answer, and pleasing authority figures,” or are media creating behavioral-engineered responses of human desire conjured-up by spin-masters hell bent of selling products not needed (Choi, 2010; Goldsworthy & Morris, 2008; Huffington, 2010; Pink, 2010; Wadsworth, 1998)? If television truly influences behavior, then allow it to help educate society on demand.

Purpose of study:
The purpose of this qualitative and quantitative study is to identify the efficiency and effectiveness of advertising on sub-channel broadcast television stations in San Antonio, Texas area of dominant influence (ADI), by performing an analysis with valid empirical data and qualitative interviews approach to an informal research methodology in testing a hypothesis (Stacks, 2002): HQ: If a grocery provider “O” and a single broadcast station, “K.2,” (limitations) were to offer cardholders of redeemable government food stamps program (the dependent variables), special discount offers exclusively for ‘sub-canal’ watchers – “aHH + s,” (stimulus) who saw the ads watching a single sub-channel during a 60-day period (latency), and called-in or logged-into website (reaction) with special word (trigger) to receive a free magnetic discount coupon tracking card (incentive) from the broadcast TV station. This experiment is testing the effectiveness of promotional communication between a station and merchant to an audience and consumer in order to determine a count that could be calculated into an estimate cost per thousand (CPM), for the sub-channel “K.2.” Note: Possible collateral effect may cause station branding to occur. Therefore, O + K.2 [CPM= GRP x 1000/aHH + s] = n (participant HH).

Research Questions:
RQ1: Does advertising or promoting a product on a broadcast OTA sub-channels prove to have a better cost per thousand (CPM), and greater value to a social-economic minded-audiences who rely on TV to keep informed, during the aftermath of “The Great Recession of 2008?”
RQ2: Is the present national economic status causing households to abandon pay TV to seek alternative sources for television programming acquisition? Is American households tuning-in to over-the-air OTA television signal (antenna), or watching streaming Internet TV (broadband), or capturing smart-phone downloads (podcast)?
RQ3: Has the influence of the Internet help change viewers perspective about conducting business using digital television? What is the future of OTA broadcast sub-channels, and fulfilling its promises from the past?

Methodology of quasi-experimental disposition.
Phase I, Area of study:
It is important to understand the unique characteristics of the demographics of the areas of dominant influence (ADI) selected for this experiment. San Antonio, Texas is a unique market because its inhabitants consist of the fasting growing minority in the country with the highest degree of spending power (U.S. Census, 2010). Hispanic-Latinos are the majority in the San Antonio ADI making up 53.79% of its population. Hispanic-Latino households consist of 16% of the nation’s population, in the other two selected ADI’s, Seattle-Tacoma’s Hispanic-Latino citizens are 7.76% of its populace, and the Austin ADI reports 29.23% of its households being of Hispanic-Latino decent (SRDS Media Solutions, 2009; U.S. Census, 2010). Therefore, the San Antonio ADI provides a naturally unique ethnicity dependent variable for the center of the area of study, which is not realized by any other U.S. metropolis, and its conveniently location for the researcher.
Reportedly, the American Hispanic-Latinos are the fastest growing minority adding 3% each year to the national average, and are attributed with over a trillion-dollars of combined annual spending power (Hinojosa, 2010; Pew Hispanic Research, 2010). In a NPR radio report, Guy Garcia, a media consultant for Mentamentrix says that Univision, the largest Spanish-speaking network has overtaken English networks in the primary 18-49 demographic categories. “Univision is moving beyond bilingual, bicultural into a contextual identify” for the Hispanic-Latino audience, says Garcia (Garcia, 2010). The Hispanic-Latino market is desperately in need of research, being the smallest group without the means (credit rating), or operational knowledge (education) to gain access the Internet, information about this minority group is scarce (Najera, 2010). Without Internet access, the Hispanic-Latino household cannot easily provide comments or feedback about products or services, they relatively speaking, having no voice (Huffington, 2009; Najera, 2010; Subervi, 2008).

Methodology – Phase II, Sample group of study:
This study is quasi-experimental research using a qualitative & quantitative methodology for analysis by identifying the independent variables as nearly the most current empirical demographic information available concerning the ADI of Seattle-Tacoma, Washington, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Dependent variables include the number of digital converter boxes redeemed, and the volume of Hispanic-Latino ethnicity in each ADI.
SRDS Media Solutions reports San Antonio, Texas Market Profiles Report of Lifestyle Ranking Index Category of Electronics & Computer indicates price is an issue for most households in the San Antonio ADI in purchasing “Hi-Tech” equipment, and accordingly the Internet is not the family’s primary entertainment source, even though nearly two-thirds of households own a PC (SRDS, 2009). During a radio interview with host Maria Hinojosa on the National Public Radio program Latino USA, Lolda Rosario, the director of the Multicultural Marketing Program at De Paul University, reports that the Hispanic-Latino market “is very young” and “very tech savvy,” while the older generations tend to avoid technology they cannot or do not understand. Rosario says many marketing strategies have tried to attract Latino dollars, but “too many strategies show no consistency,” and therefore fail to establish relevant integrity with its target audience (Hinojosa, 2010; Subervi, 2008).
At the 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing System Proceeding of the 27th international conference Louis Barkuus states that “Television is increasingly viewed through computers in the form of downloaded or steamed content, yet computer based television consumption has received little attention” (Barkuus, 2009). In San Antonio, this trend is less obvious due to lack of personal Internet access. Barkuus, research study found that the uses and practices of subjects who have a higher than normal degree of technology knowledge and Internet access provided at school (students), download or stream “their television consumption through the Internet“ because they have the means. While nearly half the households in the San Antonio ADI may desire and “love to buy new gadgets and appliances,” only a quarter of them are early adopters with the means to be the “first to have new electronic equipment” (Barkuus, 2009; SRDS, 2009).
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration Customer Service department received 51.7 million toll-free telephone calls requesting approval to receive a voucher to participate in the digital TV converter box coupon program. Out of the nearly 52 million calls, 35 million coupons were approved, a successful campaign of phenomenal response with a 54.4% redemption rate. Fourteen point seven million calls requested the information in Spanish or were part of the 7.5 million group who talked with a live representative agent (Locke, 2009). A New York Times article headline on June 13th 2009, the day after the ‘switch-over,’ reads “Changeover of Digital TV Off to a Smooth Start.” The report says that 112 million households out of the 114.5 million who rely on antenna television were prepared for the final switchover. This appears evident by the small number of phone calls television stations received after the end of analog TV and the beginning of the digital age (Locke, 2009). The Seattle-Tacoma market represents an average American city, and the Austin ADI was selected because of similar population size and its location in Texas.

Methodology – Phase III, Identifying the variables:
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 76% of the 9.1 million American-Hispanic children living in one of ten counties in Texas speak Spanish at home (U.S. Census, 2010). A Magnaglobal report indicates 60% of households are using television for background noise, 20% are genre-driven, and the remaining 20% are watching appointment TV. The ‘genre-driven’ audience refers to household viewers who are fond of viewing television, but are indifferent about scheduling a routine program time (Magnaglobal, 2010).
In a national November 19th through 21st 1993 Gallup poll, entitled “Survey of the future functions of television;” movies on demand (21.99%) and television shows at your convenience (17.67%) were of the highest interest to households, while banking through TV (7.67%), buying groceries (5.36%), playing games (3%), and buying expensive items (1.1%) ranked in the bottom percentile (Gallup Brain, 1993). Today’s digital television stations have many of the capabilities, but have not offered these functions to its viewers as of date.
This study is suggesting targeting a viewing audience consists of bilingual households of a lower social-economic stratification; this action may provide an opportunity for grocery providers to target an audience whose primary media source of communication is in over-the-air (OTA) antenna television. Broadcast stations could test this theory by offer magnetic tracking discount cards rewarding viewers of sub-channel programming who use monthly guaranteed food stamp funds with great savings . The Market Profile of Food & Beverages Lifestyles of households in the San Antonio ADI reports a significant number of people “often snack between meals” and are “swayed by coupons” to purchase “easy to prepare” food “regardless of calories” (SRDS, 2009). Discounts could be focused on products that correspond to this profile.

Methodology – Phase IV, Content Analysis:
According to the Nielsen Company and KSAT-TV general sales manager and research team, the San Antonio, Texas market television consists of 844,910 households, 11.8% (99,699.38) or nearly 100,000 households are using over-the-air (OTA) antenna to receive free-HDTV and SD programming while nearly two-thirds of the households own a personal computer (SRDS, 2009; Schmidt & Carnezale, 2010). Households using an OTA outdoor amplified antenna are also able to receive additional programming, not presently seen on cable, satellite, or Internet. This programming is narrowcasting to a specific audience on local sub-channels using the point two, three, four and five of digital television (DTV) assigned frequency (Schmidt et al, 2010). There are ten (10) primary DTV stations and sixteen (16) sub-channels in the San Antonio area of dominant influence (ADI).
As far as San Antonio lifestyles regarding finances, most households “know nothing about investing” and “prefer to pay cash” for the things they buy. While there are slightly more females in San Antonio ADI than males, “family and faith” are the two primary influences in most households, and everyone is looking for a bargain. The average family households income is $68,355 earned mostly by white-collar workers who travel 15 to 29 minutes to work (SRDS, 2009).

Results of the analysis:
The following is a disquisition of the demographic, psychographic, lifestyles of households in the San Antonio area of dominant influence (ADI), determining specific characteristics related to the social-economic nomenclature of a target audience and specific merchant product requiring the use of over-the-air (OTA) antenna to receive television signals.
Research data was gathered from the International Journal of Digital Television, CQ Researcher, The AWA Journal, Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings, The Toronto Star, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, SRDS Media Solutions (including The Nielsen Company, Experian Marketing Solutions, Inc., and PRIZM), The U.S. Census Bureau, and the Television Digest with Consumer Electronics. Interviews were conducted with General sales managers and research directors from the local television stations to gather data for the qualitative portion of the study.

Summary of research:
Granted, most products are tools designed to save time, making living simpler, and paralyzing people. Where do the perspective consumers learn about places to go, to get the products they see, and obtain service or repair the things they have? Media. But, which ones, there are many: Newspaper, magazines, radio, television, cable, or the Internet? It’s a common fact that every household in America has at least one television in the house and a radio in the car, while not everyone has the convenience of Internet access (SRDS, 2009). Since many households in the ADI cut coupons for saving in groceries, the ‘Sub-channel coupon magnetic card‘ project can automate that task. Consumers benefit saving, grocers benefit with sales, and manufacturers benefit with tracking information.
Internet TV is an independent variable based on the degree of video programming watched online. “As of the end of the second quarter of 2010, approximately 82.9 million households were online,” which calculates to 49% of TV households (Magnaglobal, 2010).

Conclusion of study:
RQ1: Does advertising or promoting a product on a broadcast OTA sub-channels prove to have a better cost per thousand (CPM), and greater value to a social-economic minded-audiences who rely on TV to keep informed, during the aftermath of “The Great Recession of 2008?” Answer: Using Media Math’s formula based on the cost of commercial spot being $25 divided by one-eight (1/8) of the OTA antenna audience in the San Antonio ADI, approximately 12,500 households, the CPM is two dollars (Media Math, 2010).
In the San Antonio ADI cable companies (Time-Warner and Grande including AT&T U-verse) make up 60% of the viewing audience with 506,946 households. Satellite television viewers using Dish network or Direct TV is equal 28.4% percent, or 239,954.44 households in the market ADI. The combine total number of households paying to use an Alternative Digital System (ADS) is 88.2% of the market, or 745,210.62 households. OTA antenna viewers make up 11.8% of the market representing 99,699.38 households (SRDS, 2010).
Just as in the past when “Amplitude Modulated (AM) radio was still an important entertainment medium. AM radio reception was easily accessible to anyone,” so is OTA television (Thomas, 2008). “The days when antennas dotted the skyline of middle-class suburbia are gone forever, with cable and satellite dishes fulfilling the desires of an increasingly sophisticated television audience that will no longer settle merely for formulaic sitcoms, once-nightly national news and Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoons (Kulig, 1997). This however, does not mean OTA television is dead, on the other hand it’s a feasible market with specific characteristics related to specific audiences. It may be a smaller target, but the broadcaster’s aim is much closer.
Depending on your location in the GTA (General Transmission Area) , there are up to 25 channels of over-the-air uncompressed HDTV. Not all channels currently offered on cable or satellite is available, but the major broadcast networks are represented. The same programming that is on the standard channel is on the HDTV channel, often in high definition.” “There’s a secret in the air above the GTA. HDTV is being broadcast right now. Neither cable nor satellite is needed, just an amplified UHF antenna and a high-definition television with a digital tuner. And the best part: It’s free (Elston, 2008). Are there more and more households cutting cable off to watch free HDTV with an outdoor antenna?
RQ2: Is the present national economic status causing households to abandon pay TV to seek alternative sources for television programming acquisition? Is American households tuning-in to over-the-air OTA television signal (antenna), or watching streaming Internet TV (broadband), or capturing smart-phone downloads (podcast)? Answer: Surprising, as it may seem, there remains a group of viewers committed to the antenna. “Attribute the phenomenon to nostalgia, stubbornness or a philosophical opposition to anything high tech, but those who work in the antenna installation field say business has been improving of late” (Kulig, 1997). Of course the cost of tuning-into digital television is an outdoor antenna and $0 per month. The average cable/satellite television subscription cost households approximately $50 per month.
Cable Company’s subscriptions have been declining but according to Time-Warner Chief Operations Officer (COO) Landel Hobbs, he says, “the company doesn’t see any evidence of people dropping cable in favor of the Internet,” because, “the biggest subscriber losses” are “among people who don’t have cable broadband services.” Craig Moffett, an analysis for Sanford Bernstein, says “poor people have an excellent motive to cut cable and simple replace it with an antenna, or nothing at all.” Time-Warner has lost 155,000 subscribers during the 2010 July to September quarter, “compared to the 64,000 a year ago” (Svensson, 2010; Wright, 2010).
According to Nielsen National Three Screen Report of the 1st Quarter of 2010, there are 286 million monthly viewers watching TV in the home (+.06%) for 158 hours and 25 minutes (+1.3%); 135 million viewers, mostly adults 18 to 49 years of age are watching Online video for 3 hours and 10 minutes (+3.3%), and 20.3 million viewers, who are mostly teens 12 to 17, are watching 3 hours and 37 minutes of downloaded video on a mobile phone (+51.2). “Consumers are adding video consumption platforms and not replacing them” (Nielsen, 2010).
RQ3: Has the influence of the Internet help change viewers perspective about conducting business using digital television? What is the future of OTA broadcast sub-channels, and fulfilling its promises from the past? Answer: “We find that users personalize their viewing but that TV is still a richly social experience – not as communal watching, but instead through communication around television programs. We explore new possibilities for technology-based interaction around television” (Barkhuus, 2009).
On June 2009 America made the switch from analog to digital television, the day static died, there were very few households loss in the transition (Locke, 2009).
The National 1993 Gallup poll surveyed 376 participants (sample group) between November 19th and the 21st regarding questions about the future functions of television. This survey was taken during the introduction of ‘America On-line’ and pre-Windows 95 graphic user interface (GUI). Many of the promises made in the 1993 Gallup poll have not been honored.
Results of the 1993 National Gallop poll question ask about a future functions of televisions which was offering households to “buy expensive items” using the TV is compared to the 2009 survey question that “Price is not an issue for Hi-Tech” found in the 2009 Media Solutions Lifestyle Category of Electronics & Computers Market Profile Report (SRDS, 2009). While some markets are willing to purchase high-dollar items over the Internet, DTV station don’t seem interested in targeting that market. According to the survey future digital stations were offering viewers movies on demand in 1993, however, today Netflix and pay TV offer this function at a premium price. Perhaps DTV stations, have not developed a scrambling method to block non-payers from receiving a signal, or the infrastructure is too expensive and difficult to maintain. With the advent of TiVo, DVD recorders and DVR, households can watch their favorite television shows at their own convenience. Yet another function has been taken over by a third-party operator, and not by a DTV station. Banking through TV is not offered today, but many of today’s Internet users conduct commerce and bank online, surely an adaptation that could easily be offered by DTV stations, but it isn’t. Q3: Buying groceries or Q2: playing games through the TV functions has also been replaced by online merchants who can fill grocery lists and deliver perishable foods products, instantly without any spoilage. For the gamers there are hundreds of first-person scenarios users can join into a networks with hundreds of game players the on the Internet simultaneously (Gallup Brain, 1993; SRDS, 2009).

Limitations of the study:
The greatest limitation of this study is persuading a broadcast digital station to invest and participate and in the proposed ‘Sub-channel coupon magnetic card test’ to determine a seemingly accurate account of households using OTA antenna television in the ADI of study. Other limitations include the relatively short amount of time, framing for research, no survey information about sales of converter boxes from 2007 to 2010 in San Antonio ADI, unobtainable.
David Walker spoke of a ‘Digital spectrum,’ methodology in measuring over-the-air antenna households, but did not receive the data within the latency of this research (Walker & Guzman, 2010). The researcher requesting information about the count of digital-converter boxes redeemed at their grocery chain in the San Antonio ADI, H.E.B. Public Relations department says because their company is a privately owned company, they were not able to disclose sales information.

Future Research & Recommendations:
It is the recommendation of this researcher to propose a Federal feasibility study for public interest in a government funded pilot program to educate America using bilingual-education broadcast television stations.
David Pink says it worries him that students “have been so indoctrinated into a school system that is focused on the right answer, and pleasing authority figures, that they have not allowed their intrinsic motivation to blossom” (Pink, 2010), thereby killing innovation and independent thought. According to Adrianna Huffington’s book Third World America, “If America’s school system was a horse, it would be shot,” but she doesn’t offer a viable solution, other than getting rid of bad teachers (Huffington, 2010). Academia wants to blame parenting, parents want to blame teachers, and everyone wants to blame TV. But, TV may be the answer to America’s education problems.
School administrators want students to attend 2nd period , and students want to socialize rather than learn about anything. There are of course the exceptions to the rule, the overachievers, the teacher’s pet, and nerds.
KFED-DTV network can educate those who cannot attend classes and the community. Viewers can watch or record daily classroom lectures. Those with Internet access can download an app to view practice exercise and homework assignment paperwork on a mobile device.
TV stations across the U.S. started cutting their analog signals Friday June 12, 2009, ending a 60-year run for the technology and likely stranding more than 1 million unprepared homes without TV service. The Federal Communications Commission put 4,000 operators on standby for calls from confused viewers, and set up demonstration centers in several cities (Amendola, 2009).
A $150 million literacy & educational federal grant is suggested to fund the project for 5 years, housing in operations in renovated buildings & side-mounting antennas. The planned KFED-DTV network daily programming transmissions begin at 600am SDT until 10:00pm Monday through Friday, continuously year round. Students & underwriters submit recordings of thirty-minute productions of Texas certified teacher follow standard TEAC curriculum. KFED network broadcasting day begins at 6am Monday thru Friday until 6pm. Each of the five (5) standard definition (SD) channels could be dedicated to a specified subject. In other words, channel .1 might teach English from 1st grade to 12th. Programming will stagger with the first half-hour in English and the second half-hour in Spanish. English will be taught in Spanish. The second sub-channel could teach Math, the third the Humanities, and so forth.
Each KFED DTV stations can lease and move into abandoned buildings in the heart of the 15 selected areas of dominant influence (ADI) cities & towns for the pilot program once it receives a retrofit to operate a broadcast television station. Antennas (including microwave link) can be side mounted to existing television towers and the transmitter shack can be constructed at its base.
Priming the pump to truly educate America. Prospective underwriters to support KFED annual budget after federal grant is exhausted: Valero Energy, H.E.B. Foods, Red McCombs Automotive, Kinetic Concepts and many more. Underwriters can immediately sponsor segments of educational program blocks and/or provide video productions for broadcasting. News updates, governmental messages, statewide educational scholarship and grant information. Weekend broadcast programming can consist of recordings of independent school district athletic events and/or theatre art plays and productions. Each station has autonomy for ADI of broadcast. Completion of this experiment can only work if a broadcast station and grocery provider can reach a mutual agreement to participate, and that would be OK.

References
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Choi, Jinbong (2010). Seminar in Advertising & Public Relations. [Lecture]. Texas State University in San Marcos.

Elston, Brian J. (October 23, 2008). Look, up in the air! It’s 25 HDTV channels for free; if you can see CN Tower, indoor antenna should pull in most networks. The Toronto Star, Television pp x04.

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Kulig, Paula (March 15, 1997). The Globe and Mail. The Arts: Television p. C23.

Locke, Gary (Secretary) (December 2009). Outside the Box: The Digital TV Converter Box Program. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration and TV Converter Box Coupon Program.

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Pink, Daniel (February 19, 2009). A Whole New Mind. United States: Penguin Group.

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Richard Courchesne presents research about households relying on over-the-air antenna television for information, 12/6/2010.

THE DAY STATIC DIED AND LEARNING BEGAN: Might digital antenna television become the cure to America’s failing education system?

by

Richard Courchesne

MC5308 – Seminar in Advertising & Public Relations

Dr. Jinbong Choi

Texas State University – San Marcos

rc1237@txstate.edu

November 22nd 2010

2010 Texas State University School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Fall 2010.

Introduction:

The following is a sociological experiment of the effective influence of broadcast television sub-channel communication: O + K.2 [CPM= GRP x 1000/aHH + s] = n (participant HH).

Knowledge is power; the power of knowing how things work, and how to work them, is power at work. Humans are creatures of routine habits, mostly seeking the simplest means of accomplishing things while using the least amount of energy. Society’s lessons learned by those who grew-up with TV: Television is the greatest persuader, then and now. People want what’s seen on TV, the manufactured desires of ease, that causes people to drive rather than walk, Google rather than searching through an alphabetical directory, microwave rather than bake, and use an electronic calculator rather than a pencil. What’s a phonebook used for, anyhow? When people want to learn about something, they ask someone to “show them, or teach them how,” or learn from watching a television set. People prefer to learn any other way, than reading the words of written manuals with time-consuming boring in-depth instructions or directions. Relaxing by reading a good book is no longer the culturally favored leisure practiced by many in American society, today. Some researchers believe this phenomenon is a byproduct of an American school system that focuses on the “right answer, and pleasing authority figures,” or are media creating behavioral-engineered responses of human desire conjured-up by spin-masters hell bent of selling products not needed (Choi, 2010; Goldsworthy & Morris, 2008; Huffington, 2010; Pink, 2010; Wadsworth, 1998)? If television truly influences behavior, then allow it to help educate society on demand.

Purpose of study:

The purpose of this qualitative and quantitative study is to identify the efficiency and effectiveness of advertising on sub-channel broadcast television stations in San Antonio, Texas area of dominant influence (ADI), by performing an analysis with valid empirical data and qualitative interviews approach to an informal research methodology in testing a hypothesis (Stacks, 2002): HQ: If a grocery provider “O” and a single broadcast station, “K.2,” (limitations) were to offer cardholders of redeemable government food stamps program (the dependent variables), special discount offers exclusively for ‘sub-canal’ watchers – “aHH + s,” (stimulus) who saw the ads watching a single sub-channel during a 60-day period (latency), and called-in or logged-into website (reaction) with special word (trigger) to receive a free magnetic discount coupon tracking card (incentive) from the broadcast TV station. This experiment is testing the effectiveness of promotional communication between a station and merchant to an audience and consumer in order to determine a count that could be calculated into an estimate cost per thousand (CPM), for the sub-channel “K.2.” Note: Possible collateral effect may cause station branding to occur. Therefore, O + K.2 [CPM= GRP x 1000/aHH + s] = n (participant HH).

Research Questions:

RQ1: Does advertising or promoting a product on a broadcast OTA sub-channels prove to have a better cost per thousand (CPM), and greater value to a social-economic minded-audiences who rely on TV to keep informed, during the aftermath of “The Great Recession of 2008?”

RQ2: Is the present national economic status causing households to abandon pay TV to seek alternative sources for television programming acquisition? Is American households tuning-in to over-the-air OTA television signal (antenna), or watching streaming Internet TV (broadband), or capturing smart-phone downloads (podcast)?

RQ3: Has the influence of the Internet help change viewers perspective about conducting business using digital television? What is the future of OTA broadcast sub-channels, and fulfilling its promises from the past?

Methodology of quasi-experimental disposition.

Phase I, Area of study:

It is important to understand the unique characteristics of the demographics of the areas of dominant influence (ADI) selected for this experiment. San Antonio, Texas is a unique market because its inhabitants consist of the fasting growing minority in the country with the highest degree of spending power (U.S. Census, 2010). Hispanic-Latinos are the majority in the San Antonio ADI making up 53.79% of its population. Hispanic-Latino households consist of 16% of the nation’s population, in the other two selected ADI’s, Seattle-Tacoma’s Hispanic-Latino citizens are 7.76% of its populace, and the Austin ADI reports 29.23% of its households being of Hispanic-Latino decent (SRDS Media Solutions, 2009; U.S. Census, 2010). Therefore, the San Antonio ADI provides a naturally unique ethnicity dependent variable for the center of the area of study, which is not realized by any other U.S. metropolis, and its conveniently location for the researcher.

Reportedly, the American Hispanic-Latinos are the fastest growing minority adding 3% each year to the national average, and are attributed with over a trillion-dollars of combined annual spending power (Hinojosa, 2010; Pew Hispanic Research, 2010). In a NPR radio report, Guy Garcia, a media consultant for Mentamentrix says that Univision, the largest Spanish-speaking network has overtaken English networks in the primary 18-49 demographic categories. “Univision is moving beyond bilingual, bicultural into a contextual identify” for the Hispanic-Latino audience, says Garcia (Garcia, 2010). The Hispanic-Latino market is desperately in need of research, being the smallest group without the means (credit rating), or operational knowledge (education) to gain access the Internet, information about this minority group is scarce (Najera, 2010). Without Internet access, the Hispanic-Latino household cannot easily provide comments or feedback about products or services, they relatively speaking, having no voice (Huffington, 2009; Najera, 2010; Subervi, 2008).

Methodology – Phase II, Sample group of study:

This study is quasi-experimental research using a qualitative & quantitative methodology for analysis by identifying the independent variables as nearly the most current empirical demographic information available concerning the ADI of Seattle-Tacoma, Washington, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Dependent variables include the number of digital converter boxes redeemed, and the volume of Hispanic-Latino ethnicity in each ADI.

SRDS Media Solutions reports San Antonio, Texas Market Profiles Report of Lifestyle Ranking Index Category of Electronics & Computer indicates price is an issue for most households in the San Antonio ADI in purchasing “Hi-Tech” equipment, and accordingly the Internet is not the family’s primary entertainment source, even though nearly two-thirds of households own a PC (SRDS, 2009). During a radio interview with host Maria Hinojosa on the National Public Radio program Latino USA, Lolda Rosario, the director of the Multicultural Marketing Program at De Paul University, reports that the Hispanic-Latino market “is very young” and “very tech savvy,” while the older generations tend to avoid technology they cannot or do not understand. Rosario says many marketing strategies have tried to attract Latino dollars, but “too many strategies show no consistency,” and therefore fail to establish relevant integrity with its target audience (Hinojosa, 2010; Subervi, 2008).

At the 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing System Proceeding of the 27th international conference Louis Barkuus states that “Television is increasingly viewed through computers in the form of downloaded or steamed content, yet computer based television consumption has received little attention” (Barkuus, 2009). In San Antonio, this trend is less obvious due to lack of personal Internet access. Barkuus, research study found that the uses and practices of subjects who have a higher than normal degree of technology knowledge and Internet access provided at school (students), download or stream “their television consumption through the Internet“ because they have the means. While nearly half the households in the San Antonio ADI may desire and “love to buy new gadgets and appliances,” only a quarter of them are early adopters with the means to be the “first to have new electronic equipment” (Barkuus, 2009; SRDS, 2009).

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration Customer Service department received 51.7 million toll-free telephone calls requesting approval to receive a voucher to participate in the digital TV converter box coupon program. Out of the nearly 52 million calls, 35 million coupons were approved, a successful campaign of phenomenal response with a 54.4% redemption rate. Fourteen point seven million calls requested the information in Spanish or were part of the 7.5 million group who talked with a live representative agent (Locke, 2009). A New York Times article headline on June 13th 2009, the day after the ‘switch-over,’ reads “Changeover of Digital TV Off to a Smooth Start.” The report says that 112 million households out of the 114.5 million who rely on antenna television were prepared for the final switchover. This appears evident by the small number of phone calls television stations received after the end of analog TV and the beginning of the digital age (Locke, 2009). The Seattle-Tacoma market represents an average American city, and the Austin ADI was selected because of similar population size and its location in Texas.

Methodology – Phase III, Identifying the variables:

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 76% of the 9.1 million American-Hispanic children living in one of ten counties in Texas speak Spanish at home (U.S. Census, 2010). A Magnaglobal report indicates 60% of households are using television for background noise, 20% are genre-driven, and the remaining 20% are watching appointment TV. The ‘genre-driven’ audience refers to household viewers who are fond of viewing television, but are indifferent about scheduling a routine program time (Magnaglobal, 2010).

In a national November 19th through 21st 1993 Gallup poll, entitled “Survey of the future functions of television;” movies on demand (21.99%) and television shows at your convenience (17.67%) were of the highest interest to households, while banking through TV (7.67%), buying groceries (5.36%), playing games (3%), and buying expensive items (1.1%) ranked in the bottom percentile (Gallup Brain, 1993). Today’s digital television stations have many of the capabilities, but have not offered these functions to its viewers as of date.

This study is suggesting targeting a viewing audience consists of bilingual households of a lower social-economic stratification; this action may provide an opportunity for grocery providers to target an audience whose primary media source of communication is in over-the-air (OTA) antenna television. Broadcast stations could test this theory by offer magnetic tracking discount cards rewarding viewers of sub-channel programming who use monthly guaranteed food stamp funds with great savings . The Market Profile of Food & Beverages Lifestyles of households in the San Antonio ADI reports a significant number of people “often snack between meals” and are “swayed by coupons” to purchase “easy to prepare” food “regardless of calories” (SRDS, 2009). Discounts could be focused on products that correspond to this profile.

Methodology – Phase IV, Content Analysis:

According to the Nielsen Company and KSAT-TV general sales manager and research team, the San Antonio, Texas market television consists of 844,910 households, 11.8% (99,699.38) or nearly 100,000 households are using over-the-air (OTA) antenna to receive free-HDTV and SD programming while nearly two-thirds of the households own a personal computer (SRDS, 2009; Schmidt & Carnezale, 2010). Households using an OTA outdoor amplified antenna are also able to receive additional programming, not presently seen on cable, satellite, or Internet. This programming is narrowcasting to a specific audience on local sub-channels using the point two, three, four and five of digital television (DTV) assigned frequency (Schmidt et al, 2010). There are ten (10) primary DTV stations and sixteen (16) sub-channels in the San Antonio area of dominant influence (ADI).

As far as San Antonio lifestyles regarding finances, most households “know nothing about investing” and “prefer to pay cash” for the things they buy. While there are slightly more females in San Antonio ADI than males, “family and faith” are the two primary influences in most households, and everyone is looking for a bargain. The average family households income is $68,355 earned mostly by white-collar workers who travel 15 to 29 minutes to work (SRDS, 2009).

Results of the analysis:

The following is a disquisition of the demographic, psychographic, lifestyles of households in the San Antonio area of dominant influence (ADI), determining specific characteristics related to the social-economic nomenclature of a target audience and specific merchant product requiring the use of over-the-air (OTA) antenna to receive television signals.

Research data was gathered from the International Journal of Digital Television, CQ Researcher, The AWA Journal, Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings, The Toronto Star, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, SRDS Media Solutions (including The Nielsen Company, Experian Marketing Solutions, Inc., and PRIZM), The U.S. Census Bureau, and the Television Digest with Consumer Electronics. Interviews were conducted with General sales managers and research directors from the local television stations to gather data for the qualitative portion of the study.

Summary of research:

Granted, most products are tools designed to save time, making living simpler, and paralyzing people. Where do the perspective consumers learn about places to go, to get the products they see, and obtain service or repair the things they have? Media. But, which ones, there are many: Newspaper, magazines, radio, television, cable, or the Internet? It’s a common fact that every household in America has at least one television in the house and a radio in the car, while not everyone has the convenience of Internet access (SRDS, 2009). Since many households in the ADI cut coupons for saving in groceries, the ‘Sub-channel coupon magnetic card‘ project can automate that task. Consumers benefit saving, grocers benefit with sales, and manufacturers benefit with tracking information.

Internet TV is an independent variable based on the degree of video programming watched online. “As of the end of the second quarter of 2010, approximately 82.9 million households were online,” which calculates to 49% of TV households (Magnaglobal, 2010).

Conclusion of study:

RQ1: Does advertising or promoting a product on a broadcast OTA sub-channels prove to have a better cost per thousand (CPM), and greater value to a social-economic minded-audiences who rely on TV to keep informed, during the aftermath of “The Great Recession of 2008?” Answer: Using Media Math’s formula based on the cost of commercial spot being $25 divided by one-eight (1/8) of the OTA antenna audience in the San Antonio ADI, approximately 12,500 households, the CPM is two dollars (Media Math, 2010).

In the San Antonio ADI cable companies (Time-Warner and Grande including AT&T U-verse) make up 60% of the viewing audience with 506,946 households. Satellite television viewers using Dish network or Direct TV is equal 28.4% percent, or 239,954.44 households in the market ADI. The combine total number of households paying to use an Alternative Digital System (ADS) is 88.2% of the market, or 745,210.62 households. OTA antenna viewers make up 11.8% of the market representing 99,699.38 households (SRDS, 2010).

Just as in the past when “Amplitude Modulated (AM) radio was still an important entertainment medium. AM radio reception was easily accessible to anyone,” so is OTA television (Thomas, 2008). “The days when antennas dotted the skyline of middle-class suburbia are gone forever, with cable and satellite dishes fulfilling the desires of an increasingly sophisticated television audience that will no longer settle merely for formulaic sitcoms, once-nightly national news and Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoons (Kulig, 1997). This however, does not mean OTA television is dead, on the other hand it’s a feasible market with specific characteristics related to specific audiences. It may be a smaller target, but the broadcaster’s aim is much closer.

Depending on your location in the GTA (General Transmission Area) , there are up to 25 channels of over-the-air uncompressed HDTV. Not all channels currently offered on cable or satellite is available, but the major broadcast networks are represented. The same programming that is on the standard channel is on the HDTV channel, often in high definition.” “There's a secret in the air above the GTA. HDTV is being broadcast right now. Neither cable nor satellite is needed, just an amplified UHF antenna and a high-definition television with a digital tuner. And the best part: It's free (Elston, 2008). Are there more and more households cutting cable off to watch free HDTV with an outdoor antenna?

RQ2: Is the present national economic status causing households to abandon pay TV to seek alternative sources for television programming acquisition? Is American households tuning-in to over-the-air OTA television signal (antenna), or watching streaming Internet TV (broadband), or capturing smart-phone downloads (podcast)? Answer: Surprising, as it may seem, there remains a group of viewers committed to the antenna. “Attribute the phenomenon to nostalgia, stubbornness or a philosophical opposition to anything high tech, but those who work in the antenna installation field say business has been improving of late” (Kulig, 1997). Of course the cost of tuning-into digital television is an outdoor antenna and $0 per month. The average cable/satellite television subscription cost households approximately $50 per month.

Cable Company’s subscriptions have been declining but according to Time-Warner Chief Operations Officer (COO) Landel Hobbs, he says, “the company doesn’t see any evidence of people dropping cable in favor of the Internet,” because, “the biggest subscriber losses” are “among people who don’t have cable broadband services.” Craig Moffett, an analysis for Sanford Bernstein, says “poor people have an excellent motive to cut cable and simple replace it with an antenna, or nothing at all.” Time-Warner has lost 155,000 subscribers during the 2010 July to September quarter, “compared to the 64,000 a year ago” (Svensson, 2010; Wright, 2010).

According to Nielsen National Three Screen Report of the 1st Quarter of 2010, there are 286 million monthly viewers watching TV in the home (+.06%) for 158 hours and 25 minutes (+1.3%); 135 million viewers, mostly adults 18 to 49 years of age are watching Online video for 3 hours and 10 minutes (+3.3%), and 20.3 million viewers, who are mostly teens 12 to 17, are watching 3 hours and 37 minutes of downloaded video on a mobile phone (+51.2). “Consumers are adding video consumption platforms and not replacing them” (Nielsen, 2010).

RQ3: Has the influence of the Internet help change viewers perspective about conducting business using digital television? What is the future of OTA broadcast sub-channels, and fulfilling its promises from the past? Answer: “We find that users personalize their viewing but that TV is still a richly social experience - not as communal watching, but instead through communication around television programs. We explore new possibilities for technology-based interaction around television” (Barkhuus, 2009).

On June 2009 America made the switch from analog to digital television, the day static died, there were very few households loss in the transition (Locke, 2009).

The National 1993 Gallup poll surveyed 376 participants (sample group) between November 19th and the 21st regarding questions about the future functions of television. This survey was taken during the introduction of ‘America On-line’ and pre-Windows 95 graphic user interface (GUI). Many of the promises made in the 1993 Gallup poll have not been honored.

Results of the 1993 National Gallop poll question ask about a future functions of televisions which was offering households to “buy expensive items” using the TV is compared to the 2009 survey question that “Price is not an issue for Hi-Tech” found in the 2009 Media Solutions Lifestyle Category of Electronics & Computers Market Profile Report (SRDS, 2009). While some markets are willing to purchase high-dollar items over the Internet, DTV station don’t seem interested in targeting that market. According to the survey future digital stations were offering viewers movies on demand in 1993, however, today Netflix and pay TV offer this function at a premium price. Perhaps DTV stations, have not developed a scrambling method to block non-payers from receiving a signal, or the infrastructure is too expensive and difficult to maintain. With the advent of TiVo, DVD recorders and DVR, households can watch their favorite television shows at their own convenience. Yet another function has been taken over by a third-party operator, and not by a DTV station. Banking through TV is not offered today, but many of today’s Internet users conduct commerce and bank online, surely an adaptation that could easily be offered by DTV stations, but it isn’t. Q3: Buying groceries or Q2: playing games through the TV functions has also been replaced by online merchants who can fill grocery lists and deliver perishable foods products, instantly without any spoilage. For the gamers there are hundreds of first-person scenarios users can join into a networks with hundreds of game players the on the Internet simultaneously (Gallup Brain, 1993; SRDS, 2009).

Limitations of the study:

The greatest limitation of this study is persuading a broadcast digital station to invest and participate and in the proposed ‘Sub-channel coupon magnetic card test’ to determine a seemingly accurate account of households using OTA antenna television in the ADI of study. Other limitations include the relatively short amount of time, framing for research, no survey information about sales of converter boxes from 2007 to 2010 in San Antonio ADI, unobtainable.

David Walker spoke of a ‘Digital spectrum,’ methodology in measuring over-the-air antenna households, but did not receive the data within the latency of this research (Walker & Guzman, 2010). The researcher requesting information about the count of digital-converter boxes redeemed at their grocery chain in the San Antonio ADI, H.E.B. Public Relations department says because their company is a privately owned company, they were not able to disclose sales information.

Future Research & Recommendations:

It is the recommendation of this researcher to propose a Federal feasibility study for public interest in a government funded pilot program to educate America using bilingual-education broadcast television stations.

David Pink says it worries him that students “have been so indoctrinated into a school system that is focused on the right answer, and pleasing authority figures, that they have not allowed their intrinsic motivation to blossom” (Pink, 2010), thereby killing innovation and independent thought. According to Adrianna Huffington’s book Third World America, “If America’s school system was a horse, it would be shot,” but she doesn’t offer a viable solution, other than getting rid of bad teachers (Huffington, 2010). Academia wants to blame parenting, parents want to blame teachers, and everyone wants to blame TV. But, TV may be the answer to America’s education problems.

School administrators want students to attend 2nd period , and students want to socialize rather than learn about anything. There are of course the exceptions to the rule, the overachievers, the teacher’s pet, and nerds.

KFED-DTV network can educate those who cannot attend classes and the community. Viewers can watch or record daily classroom lectures. Those with Internet access can download an app to view practice exercise and homework assignment paperwork on a mobile device.

TV stations across the U.S. started cutting their analog signals Friday June 12, 2009, ending a 60-year run for the technology and likely stranding more than 1 million unprepared homes without TV service. The Federal Communications Commission put 4,000 operators on standby for calls from confused viewers, and set up demonstration centers in several cities (Amendola, 2009).

A $150 million literacy & educational federal grant is suggested to fund the project for 5 years, housing in operations in renovated buildings & side-mounting antennas. The planned KFED-DTV network daily programming transmissions begin at 600am SDT until 10:00pm Monday through Friday, continuously year round. Students & underwriters submit recordings of thirty-minute productions of Texas certified teacher follow standard TEAC curriculum. KFED network broadcasting day begins at 6am Monday thru Friday until 6pm. Each of the five (5) standard definition (SD) channels could be dedicated to a specified subject. In other words, channel .1 might teach English from 1st grade to 12th. Programming will stagger with the first half-hour in English and the second half-hour in Spanish. English will be taught in Spanish. The second sub-channel could teach Math, the third the Humanities, and so forth.

Each KFED DTV stations can lease and move into abandoned buildings in the heart of the 15 selected areas of dominant influence (ADI) cities & towns for the pilot program once it receives a retrofit to operate a broadcast television station. Antennas (including microwave link) can be side mounted to existing television towers and the transmitter shack can be constructed at its base.

Priming the pump to truly educate America. Prospective underwriters to support KFED annual budget after federal grant is exhausted: Valero Energy, H.E.B. Foods, Red McCombs Automotive, Kinetic Concepts and many more. Underwriters can immediately sponsor segments of educational program blocks and/or provide video productions for broadcasting. News updates, governmental messages, statewide educational scholarship and grant information. Weekend broadcast programming can consist of recordings of independent school district athletic events and/or theatre art plays and productions. Each station has autonomy for ADI of broadcast. Completion of this experiment can only work if a broadcast station and grocery provider can reach a mutual agreement to participate, and that would be OK.

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