As of today, 491 stations have asked to go all digital by the original deadline of February 17. Another 190 had previously made the change or had scheduled to do so prior to February 17. That’s 681 stations out of a total of 1,796 full power broadcast TV stations, or almost 38%. On that basis, it seems like the government’s push to change the deadline (which I believe was just Washington theatre, sound and fury signifying nothing) is largely being ignored, but when you look at the markets that want to make the switch early, they’re almost all smaller ones.

Looking at the list of the US largest local television markets, and comparing it with the “DTV Early” list. reveals fewer than a handful of major English language broadcast network affiliates in the 20 largest markets are planning to switch early. Only in Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota), Florida is more than a single network affiliate asking to change early. So while a lot of stations, and a noticeable minority of the total number of stations, may be changing to all digital early, they won’t effect a the larger markets or a large share of the US TV population.

Additionally, it looks like the FCC will reject many of the requests to transtion early.

Here’s an even better list containing all US Television Stations with the “Early DTV” requesters in red.

Market TV Homes % US TV Homes
Early DTV
New York 7,433,820 6.50%   None
Los Angeles 5,654,260 4.94%    
Chicago 3,492,850 3.05%    
Philadelphia 2,950,220 2.58%   Wildwood, NJ NBC affiliate
Dallas-Ft. Worth 2,489,970 2.18%    
San Francisco-Oak-San Jose 2,476,450 2.16%    
Boston (Manchester) 2,409,080 2.11%   PBS stations in NH
Atlanta 2,369,780 2.07%   PBS station in AL
Washington, DC (Hagrstwn) 2,321,610 2.03%   Hagerstown, MD NBC affiliate
Houston 2,106,210 1.84%    
Detroit 1,926,970 1.68%   MyNetwork TV
Phoenix (Prescott) 1,855,930 1.62%    
Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) 1,822,160 1.59%   CW, PBS, ABC, MyNet
Seattle-Tacoma 1,819,970 1.59%    
Minneapolis-St. Paul 1,730,530 1.51%   CW, PBS nearby
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 1,546,920 1.35%    
Cleveland-Akron (Canton) 1,524,930 1.33%    
Denver 1,524,210 1.33%   CBS Glenwood Springs, CO
Orlando-Daytona Bch-Melbrn 1,466,420 1.28%   PBS
Sacramnto-Stkton-Modesto 1,399,520 1.22%    
Total   43.97%    
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Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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