Skip to comments.Millions Of TV Viewers Go Dark, Few Complain (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 06/18/2009 5:49:02 AM PDT by abb
Suppose someone pulled the plug and a couple of million people didn't care. That may be what the TV industry is discovering nearly a week after the U.S. broadcast industry converted from analog to digital broadcasting. Days after their analog TV signals went dark, 2.2% of U.S. households still haven't bothered to hook up to digital reception, according to estimates released Wednesday by Nielsen Co.
Even more troubling, the estimates are based on households in Nielsen's national and local TV ratings panels, which means that more than 2% of Nielsen's panel is reporting zero TV usage in the days following the conversion.
The broadcast industry had expected that the vast majority of analog hold-outs would scramble to convert to digital at the 11th hour, or after their TV sets went dark, but that does not appear to be the case, as a survey of the nation's TV stations by the National Association of Broadcasters reports only "moderate" call volume from viewers to local stations seeking help of information about receiving their digital broadcast signals.
"The call volume is considerably low given that the transition impacts an estimated 14 million over-the-air households in markets with at least one station going all-digital," the NAB said in late Friday, the day analog broadcast signals ceased to transmit.
Moreover, most of the calls received by local broadcasters were among those that had already prepared for the digital transition, but simply needed assistance in scanning digital channels with their new equipment.
"A relatively small percentage of viewers so far have needed assistance given the large number of broadcast-only households affected during the today's transition," noted Jonathan Collegio, vice president for digital television at NAB. "Importantly, much of the assistance sought by viewers has been on the relatively minor issue of scanning and re-scanning converter boxes and digital TV sets."
The NAB has not released new data on the number of households that have gone dark, but the new Nielsen data suggests millions of TV viewers either don't care, or are still perplexed about how to hook up to digital broadcast despite billions of dollars invested by the broadcast TV industry and the U.S. government to help educate them.
"Network evening newscasts will go dark after the '08 elections and their news divisions disbanded."
Walter Abbott, (b. 1950), Media observer and commentator
Who Wants To Buy The Boston Globe?
If the Globe shrinks, will Beacon Hill run amok?
On The Logic Of Deal-Making In The Dreary Newspaper Industry
Developer to buy newspaper properties
I have 500 channels and NOTHING TO WATCH but the US Open this weekend (maybe Fox at night a little)
Fortunately it’s summer...so who cares.
suggests millions of TV viewers either don’t care, or are still perplexed
I wonder which it is.......................
They probably bought new phones at the same time and can't figure out how to work them either.
Sometimes, after observing people, I wonder how in the world they even manage to change a light bulb.
If “broadcast-only” is the extent of what one can receive....why bother?
Ping for later
they can't tell the difference in the broadcast quality
It's not the difference in the technical quality, but in the lousiness of the shows. I can get many of the shows I want as part of video on demand. I'd rather watch “Adam-12” on Hulu than the drivel that comes on today. For news I have the Web and Freep. For music I have BBC Radio 3 and WFMT and KING-FM in Chicago. For sports I have Westwood One. What do I need this stuff for?
Neilsen is dead. With digital the viewers are being tabulated. Its a two way system. Welcome to 1984.
2% of households are stealing cable from their neighbors anyway.
What Howard Kurtz Didn’t Disclose
Full disclosure, please
Good question: Why didn’t I do at the Rocky Mountain News what I now say local newspapers should do?
Hate to tell you this...but KING-FM is in Seattle, not Chicago.
Yep. My wife loves it. She knows where it is and so do I, but you try typing with the flu.
I understand, FRiend. I myself am on the tail end of that gunk...had it since Monday, and I’ve missed 3 days of work. I still feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, but today it’s only a light truck.
Just hope I still have jobs (I have 2) to go back to....
They didn’t mention those who are receiving illegal signals, it must be more than I thought.
I know what you mean.
I unplugged the phone line to my system shortly after I got it so I’m pretty sure they don’t know what I’m watching.
And that's not including those who went to zero TV usage pre-conversion for other reasons. I moved 3 years ago, didn't get around to installing cable (broadcast was unwatchably fuzzy) for a long time, and repeatedly balked at the price ($50/mo for dreck? no!) - still don't have it, don't intend to, Netflix + Internet is enough.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.