DTV Primer

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Top TV Markets

Updated June 8, 2005

This list is useful because a number of FCC requirements for the buildout of digital TV stations are being phased in at different times for different markets. TV stations serving larger markets are required to bring their digital channels up to full speed earlier than stations serving smaller markets.

There are altogether about 210 designated TV market areas. These are determined by Nielsen Media Research. Only the top 100 are listed here, because the relevant FCC requirements apply to the top 10, the top 30, or the top 100 markets.

Top 100 Designated Market Areas (DMAs)
Rank DMA TV Homes
1. New York 7,355,710
2. Los Angeles 5,431,140
3. Chicago 3,417,330
4. Philadelphia 2,919,410
5. Boston (Manchester) 2,391,840
6. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose 2,359,870
7. Dallas-Ft. Worth 2,292,760
8. Washington, DC (Hagerstown) 2,241,610
9. Atlanta 2,059,450
10. Detroit 1,943,930
11. Houston 1,902,810
12. Seattle-Tacoma 1,690,640
13. Tampa-St. Petersberg (Sarasota) 1,671,040
14. Minneapolis-St. Paul 1,665,540
15. Phoenix (Prescott) 1,596,950
16. Cleveland-Akron (Canton) 1,556,670
17. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 1,496,810
18. Denver 1,401,760
19. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto 1,315,030
20. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne 1,303,150
21. St. Louis 1,216,700
22. Pittsburgh 1,186,010
23. Baltimore 1,087,730
24. Portland, OR 1,086,900
25. Indianapolis 1,053,020
26. San Diego 1,025,730
27. Hartford-New Haven 1,017,530
28. Charlotte 1,004,440
29. Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville) 966,720
30. Nashville 916,170
31. Kansas City 894,580
32. Milwaukee 886,770
33. Cincinnati 883,230
34. Columbus, OH 867,490
35. Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson 813,210
36. Salt Lake City 800,000
37. San Antonio 748,950
38. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek 732,600
39. West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce 729,010
40. Birmingham (Anniston and Tuscaloosa 717,300
41. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News 707,750
42. Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York 702,590
43. New Orleans 675,760
44. Memphis 658,250
45. Oklahoma City 655,250
46. Buffalo 651,970
47. Albuquerque-Santa Fe 649,680
48. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem 648,860
49. Providence-New Bedford 644,980
50. Louisville 637,680
51. Las Vegas 614,150
52. Jacksonville-Brunswick 613,000
53. Wilkes Barre-Scranton 592,560
54. Austin 567,870
55. Albany-Schenectady-Troy 555,640
56. Dayton 537,710
57. Little Rock-Pine Bluff 531,770
58. Fresno-Visalia 527,770
59. Knoxville 513,630
60. Tulsa 510,960
61. Richmond-Petersburg 509,860
62. Charleston-Huntington 508,750
63. Mobile-Pensacola (Ft. Walton Beach) 492,070
64. Lexington 481,120
65. Flint-Saginaw-Bay City 479,520
66. Wichita-Hutchinson Plus 445,690
67. Roanoke-Lynchburg 445,670
68. Ft, Myers-Naples 444,130
69. Green Bay-Appleton 433,640
70. Toledo 432,430
71. Honolulu 417,120
72. Tucson (Sierra Vista) 417,070
73. Des Moines-Ames 412,230
74. Portland-Auburn 409,060
75. Rochester, NY 396,880
76. Omaha 396,460
77. Syracuse 395,400
78. Springfield, MO 388,530
79. Paducah-Cape Girard-Harrisburg 384,860
80. Spokane 384,060
81. Shreveport 382,700
82. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur 382,460
83. Columbia, SC 374,680
84. Huntsville-Decatur (Florence) 370,160
85. Madison 364,000
86. Chattanooga 353,210
87. South Bend-Elkhart 332,860
88. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo- 331,610
89. Tri-Cities, TN-VA 329,910
90. Burlington-Plattsburgh 329,200
91. Jackson, MS 327,670
92. Colorado Springs-Pueblo 313,170
93. Harlingen-Wslco-Brnsvl-McA 312,300
94. Davenport-R. Island-Moline 309,900
95. Waco-Temple-Bryan 308,970
96. Baton Rouge 306,910
97. Johnstown-Altoona 300,850
98. Savannah 293,170
99. Evansville 289,840
100. El Paso (Las Cruces) 288,440