NEW YORK: The biggest Spanish language television channel in the US, Univision, is leading the way in educating viewers about the fast approaching digital switchover at the start of 2009.

According to a 2005 report by the National Association of Broadcasters, 28% of Hispanic households and 43% of homes where Spanish is the primary language watch TV only through over-the-air transmissions.

This contrasts markedly with just 16% non-Hispanic white households and 23% of African-Americans who depend solely on analog signals.

Says Univision ceo Joe Uva: "Hispanics could be uniquely affected. We want to make sure that they're the best-educated segment of the population."

The broadcaster is to launch a public service advertising campaign about the digital switchover, which will air on its TV and radio networks.

In addition, it is planning a web page, local newscasts and a toll-free hotline set up with media regulator, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The government is offering each household in the US an opportunity to receive two $40 coupons to help pay for converter boxes for their analog TV sets.

Data sourced from USA; additional content by WARC staff