NAB: Nearly Everyone Knows About the Transition

A new national survey sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters shows that knowledge about the coming DTV transition is nearly universal.

In a telephone survey of 31,436 households, conducted between the end of March and mid-May, 90 percent of respondents said they were aware that broadcast television signals and programming will switch to digital on Feb. 17, 2009, up from 83 percent in an NAB-commissioned survey in January 2008.

Thirty-six percent of all respondents and 41 percent of broadcast-only households were able to correctly name the date of the transition as “February 2009” or “February 17, 2009,” up significantly from the January survey, when only 18 percent and 22 percent, respectively, could name the transition date.

Broadcasters have launched a massive public awareness campaign over the past several months, and the survey reflected the effects of the initiative. Seventy percent of households reported seeing the messages on television and 82 percent of those who saw the messages thought they were helpful.

“Broad awareness of the DTV transition among American households is approaching near-universal levels, as viewers increase their knowledge base on the issue,” said Seth Geiger, president of Smith-Geiger LLC, which conducted the poll between March 29 and May 13, 2008.