DTV Switch Could Impact 34 Percent of U.S. Households

A study conducted by the Leichtman Research Group (LRG) revealed that 34 percent of American households are at risk of losing off-air reception of television programming to at least one receiver as a result of the February 2009 full-power analog broadcasting shutdown.

The research also revealed that 14 percent of primary residences in this country have at least one television receiver without a connection to cable, DBS or any other type of multichannel video program service. Also, 24 percent of U.S. households that do subscribe to a program supply service have at least one television set with only off-air program reception.

Additional information from the study shows that 84 percent of all adults contacted had heard about the digital transition, but 30 percent of that number who did not have a subscription with a video service provider felt that it would have no impact on their television viewing.

“Even among those who have heard of the transition, a large percentage of at-risk households, namely non-multichannel video subscribers and multichannel video subscribers with broadcast-only TV sets, seem to be oblivious to the potential impact of the transition on the TV sets in their household,” said Bruce Leichtman, LRG president and principal analyst. “General awareness of the digital transition has significantly increased in the past year, but many still need to better understand the implications of the transition,”

The survey indicated that currently 12.5 percent of households in areas with cable TV availability do not subscribe to a video service, as compared to 14 percent in 2007 and 17 percent in 2004.

In conducting the survey, LRG contacted 1,601 randomly selected households by telephone.