Not Ready for Prime Time!

Around 5.7 percent of U.S. TV households—6.5 million—aren’t ready for the DTV transition, according to new numbers from Nielsen. “Not ready,” in this case refers to complete reliance on over-the-air reception. E.g., 6.5 million homes would suddenly be stripped of TV. Last month, the figure was 7.8 million, so people are getting the message. At the current rate of preparation, however, about 5 million households will lose TV Feb. 17, the federal deadline for the digital transition.

Demographically, African American households (9.9 percent) are the least prepared for the transition, inching ahead of Hispanics (9.7 percent), who were least prepared last month. In terms of age, people over 55 were more ready than those 35 and younger. Among markets least prepared for the transition, Albuquerque, N.M. leads with a rate of more than 12 percent, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth, a market heavily reliant on over-the-air TV, at 10 percent. 

The table below lists designated market areas by those with the highest percentage of households unprepared for the DTV transition. Source: The Nielson Co.

RankMarket%Total%AA%Hisp%< 35% 35-54%55 +1ALBUQUERQUE-SANTA FE 12.24n/a 13.2515.513.878.882DALLAS-FT. WORTH 10.2115.713.8614.6810.046.823HOUSTON 9.9514.1217.0117.078.087.794TULSA 9.53n/a n/a 16.1912.613.045PORTLAND, OR 9.08n/a n/a 13.716.299.356SALT LAKE CITY 8.58n/a 5.478.1411.235.837MEMPHIS 8.5312.62n/a 7.698.279.248AUSTIN 8.45n/a 13.5614.346.315.489LOS ANGELES 7.6611.2111.29.498.794.8110SACRAMNTO-STKTON-MODESTO 7.335.047.127.397.367.2611PHOENIX (PRESCOTT) 7.31n/a 18.1616.436.563.112JACKSONVILLE 7.0214.67n/a 8.658.214.9513DAYTON 6.888.56n/a 16.833.194.8814GREENVLL-SPART-ASHEVLL-AND 6.6915.3n/a 19.345.082.6615INDIANAPOLIS 6.537.69n/a 6.4313.65n/a 2.528.955.2517SAN ANTONIO 6.2n/a 9.725.417.315.3618RICHMOND-PETERSBURG 6.1310.48n/a 10.513.347.2819SAN DIEGO 5.94n/a n/a (CANTON) 5.9115.78n/a 10.517.012.6221MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL 5.85n/a n/a 9.725.114.3822KANSAS CITY 5.7512.84n/a 8.467.921.3623SEATTLE-TACOMA 5.67n/a n/a 7.75.684.524MIAMI-FT. LAUDERDALE 5.4712.54.377.675.764.1925ST. LOUIS 5.269.95n/a 7.325.333.9626CINCINNATI 5.2112.5n/a 7.982.926.2827SAN FRANCISCO-OAK-SAN JOSE 5.25.713.9712.673.963.0828CHICAGO 5.188.678.756.464.844.7529LAS VEGAS 5.177.7715.168.685.143.0530BIRMINGHAM (ANN AND TUSC) 4.866.67n/a 3.315.455.1231CHARLOTTE 4.796.41n/a 4.385.913.8532DENVER 4.75n/a 7.887.614.712.933LOUISVILLE 4.599.79n/a 9.684.091.9934NASHVILLE 4.413.39n/a 5.762.985.2135DETROIT 4.49.78n/a 44.424.5836RALEIGH-DURHAM (FAYETVLLE) 4.389.49n/a 5.33.634.6237NEW ORLEANS 4.358.33n/a 8.624.581.7238COLUMBUS, OH 4.294.73n/a 9.542.822.2539BUFFALO 4.277.92n/a 4.323.784.7240TAMPA-ST. PETE (SARASOTA) 4.147.458.626.56.161.7641WASHINGTON, DC (HAGRSTWN) BCH-MELBRN 3.919.44.46.963.932.5743NORFOLK-PORTSMTH-NEWPT NWS 3.783.92n/a 1.914.663.8944BALTIMORE 3.754.98n/a 2.414.183.9745GREENSBORO-H.POINT-W.SALEM 3.423.24n/a 6.143.761.6146KNOXVILLE 3.2n/a n/a 1.715.731.7147PROVIDENCE-NEW BEDFORD 3.2n/a n/a 2.592.374.3348OKLAHOMA CITY 3.074.85n/a 2.974.861.2849PITTSBURGH 3.053.37n/a 6.773.091.6850FT. MYERS-NAPLES 2.98n/a 5.654.836.20.4751WEST PALM BEACH-FT. PIERCE 2.677.696.529.442.140.9652NEW YORK 2.574.583.733.392.032.8253BOSTON (MANCHESTER) 2.259.09n/a 0.922.642.454PHILADELPHIA 2.021.7410.582.90.812.9956HARTFORD & NEW HAVEN 1.760.322.443.261.041.81