Study Shows Most OTA TV Households Will Stick with Antennas After Analog Ends

A study has been conducted by the Association of Public Television Stations to determine what off-air TV viewers will do after analog broadcasting ends. The results show that they would opt to receive free off-air digital TV, using either set-top DTV converters or by purchasing a new set with a DTV tuner, rather than switching to cable or satellite services. The margin was more than three to one, with 43 percent indicating they would stick with off-air television delivery, and 12 percent saying that they would sign up for cable or satellite.

"This data indicates that free, over-the-air television may be set for a big comeback," said John Lawson, APTS president and CEO. "Many people see broadcasting as a dinosaur technology, but we broadcasters have the opportunity to reposition it as 'wireless TV' and reach new audiences."

The remaining households either didn't know the steps they would take (25 percent) or said they would do nothing (19 percent). Of the group that said they would do nothing, 17.6 percent said they would postpone or wait before they take any action, if they do anything at all.

The survey found that 77 percent of those surveyed who were aware of the transition didn't know why the Federal government had ordered it. The APTS survey found only 18.7 percent of the respondents thought the government was on the "right track" with the transition.

The study results are based on a Nov. 2007 survey of 1,153 households conducted by research firm Centris, which is based in Fort Washington, Pa.