NAB Statement on Feb. 17 Markets Switching to Digital TV

February 17, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC — According to the Federal Communications Commission, 421 full-power television stations will switch by midnight tonight from analog to all-digital broadcasting. National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Vice President for Digital Television Transition Jonathan Collegio issued the following statement based on preliminary reports from broadcast stations in markets that have transitioned on February 17.

"Early results from markets where broadcasters have completed their switch to digital are encouraging, given recent changes in the national deadline. For example, the DTV call center in Virginia, where two markets have gone entirely digital, has only received 150 calls from viewers statewide. Stations in Rockford, Ill., report receiving 200 calls from viewers, the majority of which were technical in nature. Stations in Topeka, Kan., took about 300 calls from viewers. In each case, stations were able to resolve most viewer concerns over the phone.

The efforts by stations and their government and industry partners have been extraordinary. With more than 400 stations scheduled to switch at various times throughout the day, we are pleased that thus far call volume appears relatively low in markets where stations switched earlier in the day. Awareness of the transition is saturated in every market nationwide as a result of the broadcast industry's $1.2 billion consumer education campaign. Viewers are our number one concern, and we are here to help them prepare for the switch."