3.6M HH 'Unready’ For DTV: Nielsen


Nielsen Media Research says that as of April 12, 3.6 million TV households are “completely unready” for the DTV transition on June 12.

That is an improvement of 200,000 households over the past two weeks.

As of March 29, 3.8 million were completely unprepared for the switchover. Nielsen points out there are “just” nine weeks until the transition.

Nielsen said that Albuquerque-Santa Fe remains the least ready market at 9.13%, while the most prepared is Hartford-New Haven, where “everybody” is ready.

Nielsen’s survey numbers are based on field staffer reports in 35,000-plus sample homes — all of its metered households.

The National Association of Broadcasters has been critical of what it sees as Nielsen’s unreadiness drumbeat.

In a letter to Nielsen chairman David Calhoun last month, NAB president David Rehr “respectfully disagreed” with both Nielsen’s numbers and how they arrived at them, calling them unfair and misleading.

Nielsen stood by its projections as the best gauge around of DTV-readiness.

Nielsen has been releasing periodic updates on its survey of households it considers completely unready for digital. By its reckoning, that means that they do not have cable, satellite or telco TV; they have only analog TV sets; and they don’t have any of those hooked up yet to a converter box that would allow them to receive a digital signal.

“While these households may be technically unready in the strictest sense,” wrote Rehr, “it is unfair and misleading to classify them as 'completely unready,’ especially those that have already purchased converter boxes.