U.S. cable viewers denied access to HDTV Super Bowl feed


Washington, DC - Viewers in 64 of 80 markets where broadcasters have converted to digital high definition television were unable to watch the Super Bowl on ABC in HDTV on Sunday through their local cable system.

That finding comes from a survey of cable carriage of digital and high definition TV signals conducted by the National Association of Broadcasters. The survey found that some cable operators in markets that cover 27% of TV households are delivering the ABC HDTV signal to subscribers, whereas ABC affiliates are broadcasting HDTV to markets covering 69% of TV households.

"It's disappointing that cable TV operators are continuing to block viewer access to digital and HDTV programming delivered by local broadcasters," said NAB President and CEO Edward O. Fritts. "One would think that cable operators would want to provide their customers with access to broadcast HDTV programming like the Super Bowl, which year in and year out is the country's most watched program."

The Super Bowl HDTV carriage survey comes on the heels of an earlier finding that cable operators are carrying fewer than 10 percent of the 700 local television stations that have made the transition to digital.

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