Press Room

2.8 Million Homes Unready for Transition to Digital as June 12 Deadline Approaches

NEW YORK, NY, Wednesday, June 10, 2009 – In its final update before the June 12, 2009 deadline for converting all full-powered U.S. television stations to digital transmission, The Nielsen Company reported that 2.8 million American households, or 2.5% of the television market, are completely unready for the transition.  Younger, African American and Hispanic homes are disproportionately unready, while the elderly are the most ready.  

“Since February, when the U.S. government postponed the transition for three months, the number of households that are completely unready has been cut in half – from 5.8 million to 2.8 million homes,” said Sara Erichson, President Media Client Services, The Nielsen Company. “Given the importance that television plays in the day-to-day life of most people, we expect that most of the remaining unready homes will take the necessary steps to get ready once the stations make the final switch to digital transmission.  We will continue to follow this trend closely.”

Percentage of Completely Unready Homes as of Sunday, June 7, 2009

Percent of Homes Unready as of:

Overall

White

African-American

Hispanic

Asian

Under Age 35

Over Age 55

June 7, 2009

2.5

1.9

5.1

4.3

3.1

4.6

1.3

May 24, 2009

2.7

2.1

5.4

4.7

3.2

5

1.5

May 10, 2009

2.9

2.3

5.7

4.9

3.4

5.4

1.6

April 26, 2009

3.1

2.4

5.9

5

4.1

5.7

1.7

April 12, 2009

3.2

2.5

5.9

5.4

4.3

5.9

1.7

March 29, 2009

3.4

2.7

6.2

5.6

4.4

6.3

1.8

March 15, 2009

3.6

2.9

6.6

6.1

4.4

6.5

2

March 1, 2009

3.9

3.2

6.7

6.5

4.5

7.2

2.2

February 15, 2009

4.4

3.6

7.5

7.4

5.1

8.1

2.6

February 1, 2009

5.1

4.1

8.7

8.5

6.3

8.6

3.2

Readiness in Local Markets

Among the 56 local markets that Nielsen measures with electronic meters, the one that is least ready is Albuquerque-Santa Fe, with 7.6% of the households completely unready.  Television homes in Providence-New Bedford, where area television stations previously made the transition to digital, are 100% ready.  The markets with the most unready households tend to be in the Western United States, where cable penetration is lower.  The most prepared markets are in the Eastern U.S.

 

# of Completely Unready Homes

% of Completely Unready Homes

National Sample

2,805,250

2.45

ALBUQUERQUE-SANTA FE             

52,235

7.58

DALLAS-FT. WORTH

145,414

5.84

SACRAMNTO-STKTON-MODESTO

64,238

4.59

SEATTLE-TACOMA

82,809

4.55

AUSTIN                                                           

29,978

4.49

LOS ANGELES

252,180

4.46

PHOENIX (PRESCOTT)       

77,207

4.16

TULSA                                                            

21,923

4.14

GREENVLL-SPART-ASHEVLL-AND       

32,949

3.84

HOUSTON                                                          

78,772

3.74

PORTLAND, OR

43,361

3.69

CLEVELAND-AKRON (CANTON)                       

55,965

3.67

MEMPHIS                                                          

23,919

3.55

SALT LAKE CITY                                                   

29,512

3.21

SAN ANTONIO                                                      

25,948

3.17

INDIANAPOLIS                                                      

34,787

3.12

SAN DIEGO                                                        

33,174

3.11

MIAMI-FT. LAUDERDALE        

43,468

2.81

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL      

45,859

2.65

DETROIT                                                          

50,101

2.60

LOUISVILLE                                                       

17,148

2.57

WASHINGTON, DC (HAGRSTWN)       

59,665

2.57

DAYTON                                                           

12,143

2.51

WEST PALM BEACH-FT. PIERCE  

18,862

2.42

SAN FRANCISCO-OAK-SAN JOSE  

59,682

2.41

RICHMOND-PETERSBURG      

12,986

2.36

KNOXVILLE                                                        

12,328

2.25

LAS VEGAS                                                        

16,171

2.22

BIRMINGHAM (ANN AND TUSC)       

16,127

2.18

CHICAGO                                                          

76,144

2.18

CINCINNATI                                                       

19,685

2.15

COLUMBUS, OH 

19,350

2.09

NORFOLK-PORTSMTH-NEWPT NWS            

14,648

2.04

ST. LOUIS                                                        

24,871

1.99

BUFFALO                                                           

12,244

1.94

NEW ORLEANS 

11,693

1.94

JACKSONVILLE                                                     

13,025

1.93

NASHVILLE                                                         

19,208

1.89

PHILADELPHIA                                                     

55,169

1.87

CHARLOTTE                                                        

20,324

1.81

KANSAS CITY                                                      

16,790

1.79

DENVER                                                           

25,454

1.67

TAMPA-ST. PETE (SARASOTA)       

28,243

1.55

RALEIGH-DURHAM (FAYETVLLE)

16,210

1.50

ORLANDO-DAYTONA BCH-MELBRN

21,263

1.45

NEW YORK                                                         

96,640

1.30

MILWAUKEE                                                         

10,774

1.19

GREENSBORO-H.POINT-W.SALEM  

7,947

1.16

BOSTON (MANCHESTER)     

27,704

1.15

ATLANTA                                                           

25,831

1.09

FT. MYERS-NAPLES

4,993

0.98

HARTFORD & NEW HAVEN  

9,947

0.98

PITTSBURGH                                                       

10,061

0.87

BALTIMORE                                                        

8,045

0.73

OKLAHOMA CITY 

3,368

0.49

PROVIDENCE-NEW BEDFORD 

0

0.00

Under government-mandated action, all full-powered television stations are required to switch to digital programming by June 12, 2009, which could leave viewers without a television signal unless they purchase digital television sets, connect to cable, satellite, and alternate delivery systems or purchase a converter box.

Nielsen is making these estimates available as a public service to the television industry, government policy-makers and local communities. This information is based on the same national and local television ratings samples that are used to generate national and local television ratings.  To conduct the survey, Nielsen representatives observed and tabulated the actual televisions used in its samples.  Because Nielsen has developed samples that reflect the total U.S. population including African American and Hispanic populations, these household characteristics in the samples can be projected to the whole country.