Washington — Some 82 percent of U.S. households that rely exclusively on over-the-air broadcasts to watch television are fully prepared for the switch to all digital television broadcasting on June 12, according to a new poll released Friday by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
Only 2.1 million (11 percent) over-the-air television households have not yet taken action to get ready for the transition, the NAB survey determined
The data resulted from a telephone survey of 1,080 broadcast-only households conducted March 26-April 8 by SmithGeiger LLC.
“Our estimates represent a definitive look at preparedness among over-the-air households, proving that Americans are unequivocally getting the message and turning it into action,” said Seth Geiger, president of SmithGeiger LLC. “Unlike Nielsen, our assessment includes two classes of preparedness: those who are prepared now, and those who have demonstrated an understanding and commitment to being prepared by having applied for or received a converter box coupon.”
Meanwhile, awareness of the DTV transition among over-the-air households has climbed to a record high of 98 percent, the NAB said adding that the gap in awareness and preparedness has closed among African-Americans, Hispanics and the elderly — groups that to date have lagged behind others in preparing for the analog TV cutoff.
“These findings demonstrate a dramatic acceleration in preparedness among our most vulnerable populations just six weeks shy of the transition,” stated Jonathan Collegio, NAB DTV transition VP. “Almost everyone knows about the transition now – by and large, the only folks left may simply be procrastinating or may believe the date might change again.”
By law, all full-power stations must broadcast exclusively in digital by June 12, 2009, although some stations plan to switch prior to that date. NAB is leading a public awareness campaign valued at more than a billion dollars to educate Americans about the DTV transition.