Just 30% of the US population is aware of America's 2009 digital switchover target, according to new research by CBS Corporation. David Poltrack, head of research at CBS, told the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that of that 30%, half had already purchased a digital TV set, and a further 30% planned to do so before the February 18, 2009, switchover deadline. Poltrack said of those not aware of switchover, when told of the change 40% said they would upgrade to a digital receiver before the deadline.
The US awareness figure compares with a 70% awareness among UK adults, according to research by Ofcom and Digital UK for the three months to the end of September 2006.
Poltrack told the CES that viewers embracing digital media were more likely to watch top network programmes in peak, and said the "fully connected" segment of the US population, defined as having both broadband and digital TV, had grown from 22% in the autumn of 2005 to 30% in the fourth quarter of 2006.
"This data clearly shows a correlation between connectivity and primetime television viewing. Consumers who embrace the new media are the heaviest viewers of the top network primetime programmes, and this sector of the audience is growing. By offering them new ways to connect to their favourite shows—whether it's [via] web sites, podcasts, ringtones or other mobile features -we've been able to deepen the bond these fully connected viewers have with our programming."
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