WASHINGTON – Broadcasters along the U.S.-Mexico border fear they will be at a competitive disadvantage when the U.S. switches to digital television in 2009 because residents can still pick up Mexican stations on old TV sets. On Feb. 18, 2009, tens of millions of televisions that are not equipped to receive digital signals will no longer be able to receive programming. People in the U.S. with old televisions will have to buy converter boxes or subscribe to cable or a satellite service to get programming. But along the U.S.-Mexico border, Americans with old sets still can get free Mexican stations, and U.S. broadcasters fear they will choose not to convert to digital sets, costing them viewers. “The U.S. is cutting off all analog broadcasting. Mexico is not,” said Barry Friedman, a lobbyist who represents the Spanish-language broadcasters in south and west Texas. “Mexico will continue to transmit an analog signal receivable by everyone who hasn’t got rid of their old analog set. That will provide a competitive advantage to the Mexican stations.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonLike their Mexican counterparts, U.S. Spanish-language stations offer news in Spanish that usually includes more coverage of Spanish-speaking countries than regular stations. They also offer Spanish-language soap operas known as telenovelas, soccer games and comedies. Nielsen said Hispanic viewers in the U.S. have risen from 22.2 million in 1992-1993 to 38.9million in 2005-2006.