Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte T.D. today revealed that 88% of Irish people are now aware of the Digital TV Switchover. The figure is even higher in rural areas where some 92% of adults are now aware of it, compared to 89% in November 2011. Furthermore, 68% of the population are aware that the analogue TV network will be officially switched off in October 2012, compared to 35% in November last year. These encouraging results come from the latest Millward Brown Lansdowne benchmark study on the Digital TV Switchover which was carried out in June.
12% of homes in the country, approximately 200,000 homes, are still using the analogue TV network for their primary TV, down from 250,000 in November 2011. However, of these, 50% do not yet know when they will make the switch to Digital TV, while 28% will switch sometime in September or October.
Commenting on the latest research results, Minister Rabbitte said, “While the results are encouraging and highlight that our public information and awareness campaign is working, the switching off of the analogue TV network is now less than four months away. Therefore, it is essential that all those who have not yet taken the important steps to ensure they can continue to enjoy their TV when the analogue network is switched off in October do so as soon as possible. Digital TV is available now, so we are keen to encourage people not to wait until the last minute to make the switch.”
The Minister made his comments at a meeting in Dublin with the 26 “Digital Outreach Champions” who have been working closely with community groups, voluntary organisations and charities across the country over the past few months. Their primary function is to inform the more vulnerable people living in local communities about the Digital Switchover and what they need to do to make the switch as part of the Department of Communication’s outreach programme with The Wheel and Irish Rural Link.
According to Minister Rabbitte, “A key focus for the Department since we launched our information and awareness campaign has been to ensure that the more vulnerable people in our society, particularly those living in rural areas, are aware of the Digital TV Switchover, understand what it is, its many benefits, when it is happening and where they can go for guidance. The 26 Digital Champions who have volunteered as part of our outreach programme to assist us in this task have already had a real impact in their local communities, as the research shows. I am informed that by end June these champions have engaged with almost 2000 local organisations, hosting almost 500 outreach events nationwide, delivering our information messages to several thousands of our targeted audience. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them and thank them for their efforts. They have also been effective in helping us deliver the message to those who are already using the Digital TV network to look out for family, friends and neighbours who may need help making the switch in advance of the October 24th deadline.”
The Department of Communications recently distributed a Digital TV Switchover information booklet to homes across the country with the specific purpose of reminding the 200,000 households who still need to make the switch to digital TV of what they need to do and that the options are all available now. The guide will also be helpful to people who have already switched to Digital for their main TV but who may have a set in another room which is relying on the analogue TV signal.
Guidance on the Digital Switchover is also available at http://www.goingdigital.ie/, through LoCall 1890 940 980 (English language) and 1890 940 970 (Irish language).
Notes to Editor:
- Millward Brown Lansdowne Research (Millward Brown Lansdowne Digital Switchover Benchmark Study, June 2012) interviewed a representative sample of 1005 adults aged 15+. 13 respondents who claimed not to have a television in their household were excluded, thus giving an effect sample of 992. All respondents were interviewed in their own homes. Fieldwork dates were 9th – 25th June, 2012.