• From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 09:30:07 -0500

I am mystified by several things in the following TV Newsday story:

1. APTS CEO John Lawson claims the data suggests that OTA TV may be set for a big comeback. But the data in this survey says that only 40% of the homes that are still dependent on Free OTA TV plan to get a converter box or a new TV and continue to use the OTA service. That sound like 60% of those who now depend on OTA TV have "other" plans.

2. The study reports that 19% of OTA homes plan to do nothing. This suggests that they not be watching much TV now and are unconcerned that they will not be able to watch after 2/17/09. This also suggests that about 3% of U.S. homes do not watch any kind of TV on a regular basis. (19% of 15%).





An APTS study finds 43% of over-the-air households reject post-transition pay TV, instead preferring to receive free, over-the-air digital television. It also finds increased awareness of the 2009 switch to digital.

 By Staff

More than 40 percent of over-the-air households reject post-transition pay TV, instead preferring to receive free, over-the-air digital television by either purchasing a converter box or digital TV set, according to a recent Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) study.

Roughly 43 percent of over-the-air households indicated they would buy a converter box or purchase a digital TV between now and when the transition takes effect Feb. 17, 2009, compared to 12 percent who would sign up for a cable or satellite service, the survey found.

"This data indicates that free, over-the-air television may be set for a big comeback," said APTS President and CEO John Lawson. "Many people see broadcasting as a dinosaur technology, but we broadcasters have the opportunity to reposition it as 'wireless TV' and reach new audiences." The subsidy program, which is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, has received millions of requests for approximately 2.8 million converter boxes since registration for the program began on Jan. 1, according to published reports.

Still, APTS says, 25 percent of Americans said they "don't know" what steps they would take, and 19 percent said they would "do nothing." Of those who said they would "do nothing," 17.6 percent of those households said they would postpone or wait before they take any action, if at all.
The study's other findings include:

* While more Americans are aware of the transition to digital television, most remain unaware as to why the federal government is mandating the change to their television viewing.

* Seventy-seven percent of those consumers who are aware of the transition did not know why the federal government has ordered the transition.

* As a result, the APTS survey found that only 18.7 percent of respondents thought the government was on the "right track" with the transition.

"It appears that the government's positive message regarding the reasons for the transition has fallen on deaf ears," Lawson said.

The study results are based on November 2007 survey of 1,153 households conducted by research firm CENTRIS in Fort Washington, Pa.

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