NTIA coupon penetration increasing


We’re talking penetration of households at risk of losing television reception on 2/17/09 – those with an analog receiver and without an MVPD subscription. NTIA says 62% of such homes have applied for at least one digital-to-analog converter box coupon. Over 50% of over-air households have gotten a coupon in 172 of the 210 DMAs, and in 45 DMAs, the penetration rate is 75% or greater. In all, 17M households have requested 33.5M coupons and redeemed 13.5M.

Markets with the highest coupon application rates include Wilmington, NC; Salisbury, MD; Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC; Quincy (IL)-Hannibal (MO)-Keokuk (IA); and Charleston-Huntington, WV. The markets with the lowest coupon application rates are: Juneau, AK; Glendive, MT; Honolulu, HI; Eureka, CA; and Anchorage, AK.

Meanwhile, a report from research firm Frank N. Magid Associates shows a high rate of consumer awareness – 96% know something is going on – but many misperceptions also exist. Some 29% think all programming will be in high-definition after the transition, and will likely be disappointed when that is proven not to be the case. A more important finding, though, is that only 40% of all over-air households have done what they need to do to get ready for the transition. According to the Magid report, they know what to do and are simply procrastinating.

RBR/TVBR observation: It’s a way of life for some – never do today what can be put off until tomorrow. The thrust of the massive DTV push during the last 100 days is a call for action by consumers. This sentiment is right on target, and now that the politicians are done choking the airwaves its time for this message to take over.