NEW YORK and ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Nov 11, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- Joint initiative includes coupon application processing and converter box distribution to local community-based organizations in New York and Puerto Rico.
NEW YORK and ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Hispanic Information Telecommunications Network (HITN TV) and DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH) have expanded upon a joint comprehensive initiative to remove the barriers facing Latino communities from transitioning to digital television by implementing new consumer-direct digital transition video conference workshops throughout New York and Puerto Rico, with viewer participation from California sites. New features expand on the initiative's proactive approach through on-site support workshops allowing viewers to apply and obtain converter boxes and coupons during live video conferences. The live teleconference workshops utilize HITN's proprietary CBO Connect(TM) network of Latino community based organizations to provide the nation's only grassroots digital transition outreach.
"Digital television will bring exciting advances in broadcast technology that could significantly increase the quality and scope of HITN's educational programming and services," said Jose Luis Rodriguez, President, CEO and Founder of HITN TV. "As the nation's only television network dedicated to public service programming for Latino audiences, we are excited to go beyond the information campaigns that other television networks have to offer and actually provide live workshops that ensure Spanish-speaking consumers who may be confused can receive on-site support at these workshops."
Barriers to digital transition by Latinos include lack of access to Spanish-language information, misinformation about the need to purchase new television entertainment systems, and lack of information on how to install converter boxes. Another issue that Latinos are expected to face are expiration dates for coupons.
Originally launched in February, Television Digital - Es Hora del Cambio is an initiative developed by HITN TV in partnership with DISH Network, the third largest pay-TV provider in the U.S. and the leader in digital transition solutions. The grassroots approach incorporates live video conference workshops to teach consumers how to obtain and install converter boxes, public service announcements on HITN TV featuring Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Robert McDowell of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and consumer-direct converter box dissemination in New York and Puerto Rico.
Latino families can benefit from the grassroots initiative at upcoming video conference workshops taking place November 12th and December 3rd in public libraries, and community-based organizations throughout New York and Puerto Rico. HITN and DISH Network hosted two previous workshops in October, providing community participants with information on obtaining top-rated converter boxes directly from participating local community based organizations or DISH Network's national network of independent retailers - many of whom are coupon-certified.
Customers can also obtain the converter boxes by mail through HITN's online service at http://www.hitn.tv/dtv. DISH Network has provided all digital transition educational materials and had experts available on-site to answer questions and advise on how to order NTIA coupons and DISH Network's industry favorite DTVPal, DTVPal Plus and TR-40 CRA converter boxes.
"DISH Network, a leader in the digital transition, is proud to partner with HITN TV in this unique effort targeting Latino television viewers, who comprise a large portion of over-the-air analog TV viewers," said Jessica Insalaco, Chief Marketing Officer for DISH Network. "As the only pay-TV provider offering both 100 percent digital television packages in English, Spanish and international languages, AND some of the most sought-after converter boxes on the market today, DISH Network looks forward to assisting in the education of Latino consumers to ensure they continue to enjoy their TV programming once the switch is complete."
Another affordable solution to prepare for the digital transition is to subscribe to pay-TV. DISH Network offers the best value in entertainment with the lowest all-digital price every day, along with award-winning technology. The recently-introduced DISH Network American and Latino Welcome Packs feature 20 popular channels for less than $10 per month. Or for as little as $19.99 per month (additional $5 for local channels), DISH Network customers can subscribe to the DishFAMILY package and receive over 40 popular channels, plus free installation and activation.
"HITN is encouraging and supporting the early adoption of this promising new technology by providing one-on-one proactive support and coupon distribution," adds Mr. Rodriguez. "After Feb. 17, 2009, televisions will only receive programming with the appropriate technology that can accept digital broadcasting to television. We are proud to join the FCC, DISH Network and our local community partners to provide this much-needed service to the nation's largest and fastest growing segment in the country, Latinos."
More information about Television Digital - Es Hora del Cambio can be found at www.hitn.tv. To learn more about DISH Network's digital transition solutions, visit www.dishnetwork.com or www.dtvpal.com.
About DISH Network Corporation
DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the leader in digital television, provides approximately 13.78 million satellite TV customers as of Sept. 30, 2008 with industry-leading customer satisfaction which has surpassed major cable TV providers for eight consecutive years. DISH Network also provides customers with award-winning HD and DVR technology including the ViP(R)722 HD DVR, which received the Editors' Choice awards from both CNET and PC Magazine. In addition, subscribers enjoy access to hundreds of video and audio channels, the most International channels in the U.S., industry-leading Interactive TV applications, Latino programming, and the best sports and movies in HD. DISH Network offers a variety of package and price options including the lowest all-digital price in America, the DishDVR Advantage Package, high-speed Internet service, and a free upgrade to the best HD DVR in the industry. DISH Network is included in the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and is a Fortune 300 company. Visit www.dishnetwork.com or call 1-800-333-DISH (3474) for more information.
The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc. (HITN) was established in 1983 as a private non-profit organization to create a network of non-commercial telecommunications facilities to advance the educational, social, cultural, and economic aspirations of Hispanics. Today HITN-TV remains the first and only media conduit offering educational, enriching and empowering content to our nation's fastest growing ethnic group. HITN is available on Dish Network; DirecTV; Time Warner Cable (NY, NJ, and TX); Comcast (IL, CO); Charter (CA, NV, WA, GA); AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOs nationwide. For more information please visit www.hitn.tv.
HITN: CELEBRATING 25 YEARS AS AMERICA'S FIRST PUBLIC TELEVISION NETWORK FOR LATINOS
SOURCE DISH Network Corporation
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