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Facts for Features
CB08-FFSE.03
May 29, 2008

*Special Edition*
Conversion from Analog to Digital-TV -
Feb. 17, 2009

On Feb. 17, 2009, all full-power TV stations will cease to broadcast analog programming. This transition to digital television will enable more efficient use of the nation's airwaves, providing new advanced wireless services and increased public safety services. To mark this historic transition, the Census Bureau has assembled a sampling of statistics from its publications about television and the television industry.

110 million

The number of households with a television set in 2006, compared with 76 million households in 1980.
Source: Table 1099, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1099.xls>

98.2%

Percent of all households with a television set in 2005, which is unchanged since 1999.
Source: Table 1099, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1099.xls>

2.6

The average number of television sets per home in 2005. In 1980, that number was 1.7.
Source: Table 1099, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1099.xls>

$273 million

Estimated sales for analog televisions in 2007, down from $5.8 billion in 2003.
Source: Table 1000, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1000.xls>

$26.3 billion

Estimated sales for digital TV sets and displays in 2007, up from $8.7 billion in 2003.
Source: Table 1000, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1000.xls>

73.2 million

The number of households with cable television in 2006. Two-thirds of households with a TV have cable.
Source: Table 1099, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1099.xls>

1,704

The projected average number of hours an individual (12 and older) will spend watching television in 2008. That comes out to 4.7 hours of TV watching per day. In 2000, the average number of hours spent watching TV was 1,502, or 4.1 hours per day.
Source: Table 1098, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1098.xls>

$364.79

The projected average amount consumers will spend on cable and satellite TV in 2009. In 2000, the average amount was $173.58.
Source: Table 1098, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1098.xls>

$41.17

The average monthly basic cable rate in 2006, up from $6.50 in 1975.
Source: Table 1114, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2008/tables/08s1114.xls>

$38.3 billion

Revenue for broadcast television in 2006.
Source: 2006 Service Annual Survey, Information Sector Services <http://www.census.gov/svsd/www/services/sas/sas_data/sas51.htm>

$38.4 billion

Revenue for cable television and other subscription programming in 2006.
Source: 2006 Service Annual Survey, Information Sector Services <http://www.census.gov/svsd/www/services/sas/sas_data/sas51.htm>

90 days

The number of days after a coupon has been mailed before it expires.
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration <http://www.dtv.gov/inthenews.html>

10 million

The number of people who have asked the government for the $40 coupons as of April 8, 2008.
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/press/2008/DTVcoupons_080408.pdf>

2

The number of coupons that can be requested per household.
Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration <http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html>

11,448

The number of retailers in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who will accept the digital-TV converter box coupons.
Source: <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/press/2008/DTVcoupons_080408.pdf>

March 31, 2009

The last day consumers can apply for up to two $40 digital-TV converter box coupons.
Source: <https://www.dtv2009.gov/docs/Coupon_Program_FAQ_en.pdf>

1

The number of states that the Federal Communications Commission has designated as an early test site for the transition from analog to digital TV. The test begins Sept. 8 in Wilmington, N.C., five months ahead of schedule.
Source: Federal Communications Commission <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-282032A1.doc>

More than 1,600

The number of television stations in the United States already broadcasting digital programs.
Source: Federal Communications Commission <http://www.dtv.gov/>

More than 1,800

The number of channel assignments for broadcasting following the DTV transition on February 17, 2009.
Source: Federal Communications Commission <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-275789A1.doc>

$39 million

The amount that the USDA Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program has awarded for rural digital transition projects in 28 states since its inception in 2003 (grant rounds and awards took place during these years: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007).
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture <http://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/public-tv.htm>

$4.97 million

The amount of USDA Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program money that was made available in fiscal 2008 to eligible public television stations serving substantial rural populations to help in transitioning to digital broadcast television transmission. Awards are expected to be announced by early fall.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture <http://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/public-tv.htm>

$1.86 million

The grant amount awarded to Mississippi Public Broadcasting in 2007 for two projects to enable several counties in the Hurricane Katrina-damaged Mississippi Delta region to upgrade coverage and receive a digital public television station signal for the first time.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture <http://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/public-tv.htm>

For more information on the conversion from analog to digital TV, visit the following sites: <http://www.dtv.gov/> and <http://www.ntia.doc.gov>

"Special Editions" of the U.S. Census Bureau's Facts for Features are issued to provide background information for lesser known observances, anniversaries of historic events and other timely topics in the news.


Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014