A broadcaster in Houston wholeheartedly agrees with our story yesterday on “unready” DTV-transition homes, concentrated among Hispanic homes, Households with older viewers and Households in rural areas. The most “unready” DMA’s are Portland, Minneapolis, Salt Lake, Houston and Albuquerque (4/22/08 TVBR #79):
Once again—I love your RBR/TVBR epapers. I have a small comment about your piece today about the households not ready for DTV. We contacted the government agency back in January and showed them the staggering numbers in Houston of people who were unable to receive DTV and how they had way of getting the messages that were being sent out. We showed how an army of kids and families are the best way to get the message out to those who may not be able to get it any other way. We’re talking through schools, and those kids will talk to their grandparents.
Their comment to us was “Everybody already knows about this and it really doesn’t matter anyhow because we have a commercial that’s going to be on American Idol, and once that one commercial runs, everybody that needs it will get it.”
They also told us they’re being given two billion dollars worth of advertising by television stations—and they don’t feel they need to spend any money.
It was unbelievable how they bury their heads in the sand. We live in a culturally diverse market like very few in the country. We’re as close to a third world nation in Houston sometimes as we are to a cutting-edge city. This is because we have a humongous immigrant population that’s not only from Central and South America, but we have a huge African immigrant population here—it’s just culturally different. You can’t reach people here the way you would Boston or NYC.
RBR/TVBR observation: Looks like a lot of folks in Houston will be driven to radio come 2/18/09!