6.5 million U.S. households unready for DTV switch, says Nielsen

January 27, 2009

If the DTV transition were to occur today, more than 6.5 million U.S. households would be unable to receive any TV programming, according the latest tally from The Nielsen Company.

According to a recently posted blog on the company’s Web site, this figure is a 1.3 million home improvement since Nielsen’s last status report issued at the end of December.

While a significant improvement, the company’s findings mean 5.7 percent of all U.S. television households are completely unprepared for the Feb. 17 DTV transition. The Senate this week passed a bill delaying the DTV transition until mid-June, and the House looks ready to do the same.

The latest numbers from Nielsen also indicate that on a percentage basis, more than twice as many African-American and Hispanic households are completely unready for the DTV transition compared to white households. Additionally, on a percentage basis, more than twice as many households under 35 years of age are unprepared as are those over 65 years of age. According the Nielsen figures, as of Jan. 18, the percentage of households completely unready for the DTV transition were:

  • Overall: 5.7 percent
  • White: 4.6 percent
  • African-American 9.9 percent
  • Hispanic 9.7 percent
  • Asian 6.9 percent
  • Under 35 8.8 percent
  • Over 65 4 percent
For more information, visit http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/media_entertainment/65-million-us-homes-unready-for-digital-tv-transition/.

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