RTDNA: Larger Markets More Likely to Use HD

In new findings that will not exactly shake the industry to its very foundation, a survey finds that the bigger a market is, the more likely its broadcast stations are airing their local content (mostly newscasts) in HD.

According to a Radio-Television Digital News Association/Hofstra survey— RTDNA teaming with Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y.—two-thirds of television stations in the top 50 DMAs are already running local news in HD. For all other markets combined, the local HD rate is still well below 20 percent.

That scenario, however, could change markedly in the next 12 months, according to the data, which finds that at least a quarter of the remaining local SD outlets plan to go local HD, in what appears to be a slowly recovering American economy.

In the top 25 DMAs, forty percent of news directors answered in the affirmative when asked if they'd jump to local HD in 2010. Yet of the small markets (DMA 151 and smaller) only about 15 percent plan to transition to local 1080i or 720p this year, according to the RTDNA/Hofstra survey.

Details of the survey are available at the RTDNA website for its members.