I’ve received a few e-mails (though only a few) along the lines of “How come you’re not posting about the digital transition going into effect today! It’s a big deal!”
The answer is this: we have posted about it before. And while it is a big deal to industry wonks and potentially to the ratings, the # of people who visit this blog who are impacted by it is so close to zero, it didn’t seem like anything we needed to be covering in near real time. When we can get a read on what the impact is on the ratings numbers as a result of the transition, I’m certain we will be writing about it. If there is noticeable impact, we’ll probably be writing about it somewhat regularly. If there is no visible impact to the numbers, you can count on us writing about that, too. At least a little.
Currently, we are not expecting delays to the numbers we regularly post as a result of the transition, though that could certainly change and we will update you if it does.
But for those who crave coverage of the conversion, there are a lot of sites covering it. Broadcasting & Cable has a lot of numbers regarding stations that switched. Keep in mind that some 641 stations had already pulled the plug on their analog broadcasts or before the original February 17 conversion date.
186 stations were going all-digital between midnight last night and 6 a.m. this morning, with 239 scheduled between 6 a.m. and noon, 155 between noon and 6 p.m. and the rest (391) by midnight tonight (11:59:59 technically).
An FCC spokesman says the commission continues to monitor the transition’s progress via its 200 staffers in the field and “feelers out” to broadcasters, cable operators and converter box manufacturers. It will release early returns on call volumes to its DTV helpline (1-888-CALL-FCC) sometime Friday afternoon, then update them over the weekend.