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NAB: Transition Awareness Up

Washington — Consumer awareness of the transition to digital television (DTV) has grown substantially over the past year, reaching 79 percent according to a survey commissioned by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

The survey, which was conducted in January 2008, includes a national sample of television households including those that rely solely on over-the-air television signals.

In a statement announcing the survey results, the NAB said 79 percent of respondents reported that they have “seen, read or heard something about the Feb. 17, 2009, transition to digital television.”

Awareness was even greater among exclusively over-the-air households, where 83 percent of respondents reported they are aware of the transition. The NAB said overall consumer awareness has more than doubled from the 38 percent that was recorded in a similar survey conducted in January 2007.

“This is a big step toward our goal of reaching every American with information about the DTV transition,” stated David K. Rehr, NAB president and CEO. “The first phase of our consumer education campaign has been highly successful, and our next phase will focus on helping consumers learn more about the steps they need to take to receive a digital signal before Feb. 17, 2009.”

The NAB said that more than 34 million households that rely on over-the-air television signals will be affected by the digital TV transition, which will be completed on Feb. 17, 2009, when all full-power television stations must turn off their analog signals and begin broadcasting exclusively in the digital format.

Broadcast networks and nearly 1,500 television stations nationwide are participating in the consumer education campaign, which includes on-air, online and grassroots initiatives.

“This survey demonstrates that broadcasters’ consumer education campaign is effective,” said Seth Geiger, president of research firm Smith Geiger, which conducted the survey.

The next phase of the consumer education campaign will have broadcasters helping consumers learn more about the converter-box coupon program and other options they have to upgrade to digital through on-air advertisements, a 30-minute educational television program about DTV, and several other initiatives, the NAB said.