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Centris: 8.5M Homes At Risk In TV Shutoff

1/15/2009 03:04:00 PM Eastern

Fort Washington, Pa. — A new report from Centris finds that 8.5 million U.S. homes are likely to be adversely affected by the planned Feb. 17 analog TV cutoff.

The Centris report, which provides estimates on the number of impacted homes in each of the top 25 markets and offers profiles of potentially impacted viewers, said approximately 33.8 million homes will be affected by the planned cutoff of analog TV broadcasting on Feb. 17.

These include 14.6 million primary over-the-air (OTA) households that use OTA as their primary source of TV reception, and an additional 19.2 million households that have multiple signal connections including pay-TV, Centris said.

Of the 14.6 million primary OTA households, Centris estimates approximately 6.1 million (42 percent) should be prepared to manage the transition assuming they have purchased a converter box and successfully install it.

About 8.5 million primary OTA households (58 percent) of the total primary OTA households nationwide are located in physical areas where using existing antennas will result in trouble with signal reception or other technology challenges, Centris said.

The number is slightly below the firm’s estimate of 9.2 million homes, in early 2008.

Centris predicts a large number of TV viewers will need to take additional steps beyond hooking up a converter box a basic antenna to receive adequate signals.

Paul Rappoport of Temple University and a Centris consultant said: “This government-mandated transition will bring about an improvement in the way many people receive TV transmissions. However, for a variety of technical and geographic reasons some homeowners may experience difficulties. The report offered by Centris provides a laser-focused look at how and where issues may arise, and translates that information into recommendations on how the industry can offer valuable solutions."

Bill Beaumont, president of Centris, noted, "Centris has been studying this issue for several years. We believe there is a continuing marketing opportunity for service providers, manufacturers and retailers that develop targeted, local marketing programs. We expect this opportunity will not end on Feb. 17, 2009, but continue well into the year as consumers embrace new service providers and seek new TV reception solutions.”

For information on obtaining the report contact Lisa Masciale at (332) 549-9737 or lmasciale@centris.com.

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