DTV unreadiness dips under 6%


Nielsen reports that only 5.7% of US households, or about 6.5M of them, are now completely unprepared for the DTV transition, meaning that 1.3M homes have gotten their act together since the December sounding.
The Hispanic demo made the biggest gains over the course of the month, moving from a least-prepared 11.5% to single digit territory, 9.7%. The Black community also exited double digit territory, but just barely, moving from 10.8% to 9.9% and taking over the least-prepared mantle.

Many suspect that one of the problem demographics will include senior citizens, but as a whole, only 4% of citizens older than 55 are out of the loop, compared to 8.8% of those younger than 35.

In Nielsen’s meter-monitored universe, only Albuquerque-Santa Fe NM and Dallas-Ft. Worth TX are showing double digit levels of unpreparedness, at 12.24% and 10.21% respectively. On the other end of the spectrum is Hartford-New Haven CT, where only 1.76% households are still lacking in readiness.

The top ten least prepared markets are all on or west of the Mississippi. After Albuquerque and Dallas come Houston TX, Tulsa OK, Portland OR, Salt Lake City UT, Memphis TN, Austin TX, Los Angeles CA and Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto CA.

Conversely, all but one of the top ten are east of the Mississippi. After Hartford, the list includes Atlanta GA, Philadelphia PA, Boston MA, New York NY, West Palm Beach-Ft. Piece FL, Ft. Myers-Naples FL, Pittsburgh PA, Oklahoma City OK and Providence RI-New Bedford MA.

RBR/TVBR observation: One of the key elements of keeping the deadline intact, as noted by former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin almost two weeks ago, was installing a congressional quick fix of the coupon traffic jam. That has clearly gone absolutely nowhere. Stalling to keep the date is one thing – but if the stall is not accompanied by some fast-lane remedial measures, the transition will bog down. This is just one more piece of evidence that a delay is going to happen.