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US DTV Transition: APTS survey adds to switch-off confusion

by David Mercer | 3月 27, 2008

My attention was drawn to the headline on the APTS's recent news item More Than Half of Over-The-Air Consumers Prefer Free Broadcast Television After The DTV Transition. "More than half"... hmmm. These are people who presumably have resisted the temptation, unlike nearly 90% of American households, to start paying for a TV service from a cable, satellite or telco provider. It is surely a lot more surprising that 38% of current OTA users have not already decided to continue with free OTA DTV. 10% of that 38% in fact have already indicated they will begin paying for TV, so that's a crumb of comfort for MVPDs. The general confusion over the US DTV transition is not helped when industry bodies like the APTS report the data in such a confused way. The APTS confirmed the some of the actual survey data to me, although continues to deny the release is badly written. The real survey findings are as follows: 76.4% of the 113m US TV households (ie 86.3m) have "at least limited awareness of the DTV transition". Of this 86.3m 48% (ie 41.4m) "claim awareness of the DTV transition end date". Of this 41.4m 55% (ie 22.8m) have "correct knowledge of the DTV transition end date". So when the APTS says it's 55% of "these" households, referring to the 76.4%, it is wrong - it is referring to the 41.4m. I'm glad to clarify that on their behalf, although they gave me the impression they didn't care a whole lot about discussing such minor details with non-US residents, or possibly with anyone else. Perhaps that's because the DTV transition in the US really is meaningless to the vast majority of US citizens, in contrast to its (arguably growing) importance in the European broadcasting landscape. Kudos nevertheless goes to the various US organisations involved in increasing awareness of the switch-off of analogue TV next February. Three quarters of US people now have at least some awareness of this, although the APTS survey suggests that nearly half of those who think they know when it will happen are wrong, so there is a lot of work still to be done. Client Reading: The Television and Movie Industry Explained: Where Does All the Money Go? Add to Technorati Favorites
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