NEW YORK Just days before the June 12 transition to digital TV, 2.8 million households, or 2.5 percent of the TV market, are still unprepared.
According to Nielsen's final update released today, the new tally is half of the 5.8 million that were unprepared in February when the government postponed the transition by three months.
For an update on the transition, the National Association of Broadcasters is holding a press conference Thursday. Scheduled to discuss last-minute details will be Richard Wiley, former Federal Communications Commission chairman and moderator; Anna Gomez, deputy assistant secretary, Commerce Department; Paul Karpowicz, vice chair, NAB TV board and president, Meredith Broadcasting; Kyle McSlarrow, president and CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association; and William Lake, digital TV transition coordinator, FCC; among others.
The FCC held a similar briefing last week.
Problems will no doubt occur, but they are likely to be concentrated in markets that are least prepared for the transition. Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M., is the least ready with 7.58 percent of TV homes completely unprepared. There are also several of the nation's largest markets that have percentages of unprepared TV households in the 4 to 5 percent range, including Dallas-Ft. Worth, Seattle-Tacoma, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
How those percentages will translate into TV ratings is the big unknown. Some broadcasters are layering on their own initiatives to help viewers make the switch. For example, in Los Angeles, TV stations have set up a phone bank to help viewers through the transition.
Adweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.