Almost 700 Stations To Go Digital Early

The FCC says 491 TV stations just announced they will go ahead with the digital TV transition Feb. 17, despite congressional action pushing the national changeover to June 12. That number is added to 190 stations that have already gone through the transition or plan to do so before Feb. 17.

Included are some big-market stations, in cities such as Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Baltimore. More than one-third of the nation's approximately 1,800 TV stations will switch early, which could rile critics. Ad groups are concerned about the potential loss of audience.

Nielsen reports that on Feb. 1 about 5% of U.S. households were unprepared for DTV. Albuquerque had the biggest share of unprepared households, with 12.7% not ready. Tulsa was third worst, with 9.4% unprepared. In Tulsa, five TV stations filed to switch early. In Phoenix, the unprepared rate among Hispanic households was 16.5%. Nonetheless, KTAZ, a Telemundo station in Phoenix, was among those that plans to switch early.

Source: By Ira Teinowitz - TV Week


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