Sunday, January 11, 2009

3 Years Not Long Enough

1.1 million people are on the waiting list to get one of the $40 coupons for a converter box so they can still watch TV when it switches from analog to digital on Feb 17. The incoming administration is proposing that the changeover date get pushed back as the NTIA has hit the $1.34 billion cap set by Congress. There are a heck of a lot of unredeemed coupons out there. 47.4 million coupons have been requested and only 18.8 million redeemed over the past three years. Heck, according to Nielson, there were only 14 million households last year relying on broadcast tv and 13 million of them requested coupons:

In January 2008 the Nielsen Company reported that 14.3 million television households relied solely on over-the-air broadcasts. During the past year, 13.1 million over the air households have requested coupons.

It will take an act of Congress to push the date back, and I don't see that as a much of a priority during the first few weeks of the new administration and Congress.

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