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TV Converter Box Coupon Program data revealed

Tue, 07/29/2008 - 8:05am
Traci Patterson

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez has released national coupon redemption data for the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, and Minneapolis/St. Paul is the top local market to redeem coupons.

“Minneapolis-St. Paul has one of the highest percentages of over-the-air households, and I am very pleased to see the strong participation among consumers in this region in the coupon program,” Gutierrez said. “With the digital television transition just over 200 days away, I urge all consumers who need a converter box to act now to request coupons and to redeem them within 90 days.”

The top five states redeeming coupons are Texas, California, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, according to the data. The top five local markets redeeming coupons are Minneapolis/St. Paul, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Data for all local markets can be found here.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) TV Converter Box Coupon Program permits all households to request up to two coupons, each worth $40, toward the purchase of a certified converter box, which cost between $50 and $80. Consumers can purchase a converter box at one of the more than 26,000 participating local, online or phone retailers.

Since the NTIA launched the Coupon Program on Jan. 1, more than 21.3 million coupons have been requested, and more than 6.6 million coupons have been redeemed, according to the data. For all households, the coupon redemption rate is 45.8 percent, and for households that rely on an antenna, the coupon redemption rate is 54.6 percent. Redemption details are updated weekly and can be found here.

More than 150 converters have been certified, including 63 that enable viewers to watch analog broadcasts from low-power TV stations and digital programs from full-power TV stations. A complete list of certified converters can be found here.

Meanwhile, in response to criticism from key lawmakers, the NTIA said that it does, in fact, have enough money to meet consumer demand for the digital transition, according to the Washington Post.

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