Skip to main content

NTIA: DTV-to-Analog Converter-Box Coupon Demand Slowing

Digital-TV-to-analog converter-box coupon requests have leveled off since the first rush at the program's Jan. 1 launch, according to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which is overseeing the program.

According to spokesman Todd Sedmak, more than 1.78 million applications have been received so far for a little over 3.3 million coupons, which means that almost everyone is still requesting the maximum of two $40 coupons per household.

Those coupons can be used toward the purchase of a converter that will allow analog-only TV sets to receive a digital signal after Feb. 17, 2009, when all full-power TV stations are scheduled to end analog service and switch to digital.

But while some 700,000 coupon applications were filed on that first day, by Thursday, that number was down to about 70,000 per day.

The NTIA can give out 22.25 million coupons to analog-only and multichannel-video homes alike. After that, the remaining 11.25 million coupons are reserved for analog-only home to make sure people with cable or satellite service don't use up the supply taking care of additional sets not hooked up to cable.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.