Press Release

Nationwide Switch to Digital TV Proves Successful

June 13, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC — Nine hundred and seventy-one full-power television stations in 195 markets yesterday completed the final wave of America's historic nationwide transition to all-digital broadcasting. With the national call center reporting 317,450 calls on June 12 out of an estimated 15 million households impacted by the switch, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) applauds the unprecedented public-private partnership among industry, government and consumer groups in preparing America for the digital television (DTV) transition.

In coordination with the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, NAB worked closely with state broadcast associations and the 241-member DTV Transition Coalition on a two-year consumer education campaign that drove viewer awareness and action on the transition to near-universal levels. Highlights of the broadcasters' $1.2 billion effort include:

  • National awareness jumped from 38 percent in January 2007 to 98+ percent in June 2009
  • 9 of 10 U.S. households knew the transition impacted over-the-air television signals
  • More than 60 million converter box coupons were requested
  • 30 million digital TV sets were sold in 2008 alone

NAB Vice President for Digital Television Jonathan Collegio issued the following statement regarding yesterday's transition:

"America is the first large country in the world to complete the transition to all-digital broadcasting, and our early reports show that the transition has been a success. Television broadcasters, from local stations to major networks, took the lead in educating and prompting viewers to take advantage of the numerous benefits of free digital television. The broadcaster campaign elevated public awareness from 38 percent to over 98 percent in two short years.

"Millions of households across the country are now enjoying dramatically better pictures and sound in digital compared to what they were able to see and hear on their TV sets for the past several decades. Free high definition broadcasts are available in every market in the country with just an antenna and an HDTV set.

"Free TV is better than ever, but more is to come. Broadcasters are already working to improve on the digital experience, as experiments with mobile digital television begin this summer. Stay tuned for the next generation of free digital television."

To learn more about broadcasters' role in the DTV transition, visit

Read our backgrounder for more information on the DTV Transition