AfterDawn: Tech news

U.S. household TV ownership drops

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 03 May 2011 23:57 User comments (12)

U.S. household TV ownership drops Nielsen has announced today that for the first time since 1992, the amount of U.S. households with a TV set has fallen.
The 2012 Advance/Preliminary TV Household Universe Estimate (UE) fell to 114.7 million, from 115.9 a year ago.

Furthermore, Nielsen says U.S. homes with a TV set is now at 96.7 percent, down from its peak of 98.9 percent.

The company claims the 2012 UE drop can be attributed to:

Digital Transition: The summer of 2009 marked a significant milestone with a shift from analog to digital broadcasting. Following the transition, consumers were only able to view digital broadcasts via a set with a built-in digital tuner (i.e., a newer TV set) or an analog TV set connected to a digital-to-analog converter box, cable or satellite. TV penetration first dipped after this transition; the permanence of this trend was acknowledged in 2010 after the number of TV households did not rebound over time.

Economics: As with previous periods of belt-tightening, the cost of owning a TV is a factor in this UE decline; TV penetration first saw sustained decreases in second quarter 2009. Lower-income, rural homes were particularly affected.

Multiple Platforms: Nielsen data demonstrates that consumers are viewing more video content across all platforms—rather than replacing one medium with another. However, a small subset of younger, urban consumers are going without paid TV subscriptions. Long-term effects of this are unclear, as it’s undetermined if this is also an economic issue, with these individuals entering the TV marketplace once they have the means, or the beginning of a larger shift to viewing online and on mobile devices.


Says the company: "The media marketplace continues to evolve and become more complex. Some consumers are clearly being driven by the economy to make choices on the media devices they purchase. Others are expanding their equipment to add more audio/video devices to their home. Still others may be deferring a TV purchase or replacing their TV with a computer. Nielsen’s cross-platform media strategy will allow us to measure all of this content and report the total picture of video consumption to our clients regardless of delivery method. As the census data shows that we are a more diverse country, our measurements evolve to reflect our diversity and also to encompass all the ways that Americans consume media."

Previous Next  

12 user comments

14.5.2011 0:11

I haven't had a TV in years...I refuse to pay for TV with commercials...and if I want to watch broadcast, then I can use a TV tuner card.

24.5.2011 1:11

Originally posted by KillerBug:
I haven't had a TV in years...I refuse to pay for TV with commercials...and if I want to watch broadcast, then I can use a TV tuner card.
Agreed. They should be paying us to watch their garbage commercials and programming. I canceled my service about 6 years ago.
I also canceled my phone service around 3 years ago. All that mostly called were telemarketers anyhow.


34.5.2011 3:07

Originally posted by skeil909:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
I haven't had a TV in years...I refuse to pay for TV with commercials...and if I want to watch broadcast, then I can use a TV tuner card.
Agreed. They should be paying us to watch their garbage commercials and programming. I canceled my service about 6 years ago.
I also canceled my phone service around 3 years ago. All that mostly called were telemarketers anyhow.


I get the impression in the article they mean cable TV. Something I have never invested in my self as it seems just like crap in Oz. And all the good stuff from the US ends up on free to air here anyway.

Having a set top box also means largely "...and outdoor antenna". An extra expense that puts many people off too.

And then there's the net.

Its a lot easier being righteous than right.


DSE VZ300-
Zilog Z80 CPU, 32KB RAM (16K+16K cartridge), video processor 6847, 2KB video RAM, 16 colours (text mode), 5.25" FDD

44.5.2011 3:17

Originally posted by Jemborg:
Originally posted by skeil909:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
I haven't had a TV in years...I refuse to pay for TV with commercials...and if I want to watch broadcast, then I can use a TV tuner card.
Agreed. They should be paying us to watch their garbage commercials and programming. I canceled my service about 6 years ago.
I also canceled my phone service around 3 years ago. All that mostly called were telemarketers anyhow.


I get the impression in the article they mean cable TV. Something I have never invested in my self as it seems just like crap in Oz. And all the good stuff from the US ends up on free to air here anyway.

Having a set top box also means largely "...and outdoor antenna". An extra expense that puts many people off too.

And then there's the net.
i have a tv and use a set top box and i dont even have an external antenna.I'm using a $20 digital antenna from big W and it works fine most the time.I dont have pay tv but ive seen it at my sisters house and instead of the normal 10 or 15 channels of repeats and crap they have 40channels of it which your paying for.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

54.5.2011 5:53

My current antenna is made from construction scraps...it was free...and it is way better than my old $300 Yagi. I still don't use it...I've got netflix. To me, a TV is nothing but a monitor with a crummy TV tuner built in.



64.5.2011 7:46

I own a TV for the sole purpose of playing my Wii and using an AppleTV to stream my movies and shows from my computer. I stopped paying for cable 5 years ago...


DS Warrior ! ! !

74.5.2011 10:09

Just watch the tv for the occasional movie but mostly for sports which I record so I can skip through the commercials.

85.5.2011 8:09

Originally posted by TBandit:
Just watch the tv for the occasional movie but mostly for sports which I record so I can skip through the commercials.
It might be a TV, but it sounds like it is being used as a monitor exclusively.


95.5.2011 17:39

I quit watching TV when they switched from analog to digital. The signal was no longer watchable unless you like watching the visual equivalent of listening to a horribly scratched CD while simultaneously listening to a horribly scratched CD.

106.5.2011 1:59

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by TBandit:
Just watch the tv for the occasional movie but mostly for sports which I record so I can skip through the commercials.
It might be a TV, but it sounds like it is being used as a monitor exclusively.
i remember my sister using a moniter hooked up to a vcr as a tv back when she was a teenager.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

117.5.2011 10:36

I watch a lot of tv. meaning I have it on in the background all the time. I don't sleep well. and I live alone. Some days, the only voice I hear is on my tv. BUT, I am old enough to remember when after 11 pm until 6 am, all there was was a "pattern". (I'm only in my 50's btw.)

It was a huge deal when tv went 24/7. It was a huge deal to go from 3 channels to a hundred. (I don't do pay channels other than basic cable.) Have you looked at nighttime tv lately? it's ALLLL INFOMERCIALS. Professional Media hogs that know how to make us NEED the crap they are selling. at 30% interest for most of us who have a credit card balance. the rest if reality tv. SNOOKIE? really? is this what it's come to? 16 and pregnant? really? that's "entertainment"?

I seem to only watch 5 channels like the old days again (when 38 and 56 were added to 4, 5 and 7 in the Boston area). and they are rerun channels. TNT, USA, lifetime, style and one of the DIY channels. very sad choices. Once I have seen enough L&O svu and ci to not even want it on in the background anymore, or NCIS reruns, OR now sex in the city which is on 14 times a day...well, hmmm...maybe I'll leave my house more. Sadly, tv is cheaper than gas so for now...it is what it is. Mostly, I can't wait for this "reality" crap to end. It feels like legalized prostitution. If not for Kate plus 8, her marriage would probably still be together and her kids would still have a family...and she wouldn't have become the media whore most reality folks are now. We have now "normalized" narcissism. The same way we have "normalized" obesity by only have chair and a half's in waiting rooms now. (and I am overweight so that was not a "fat blaming" thing. It's about "normalizing" things that should not be normal....like 16 yo's pregnant and scanky NJ folks who used to be the dregs of society and NOW are the wealthy ones. harumph. Wish I could shut it off. Wish I could. Maybe THIS is the reason Kindle's are becoming so popular. Kindles are not removing tv. crappy tv is MAKING US READ again. so at least something good is coming out of the crap of tv land.

128.5.2011 9:18

Bought a NOOK myself. :P


Its a lot easier being righteous than right.


DSE VZ300-
Zilog Z80 CPU, 32KB RAM (16K+16K cartridge), video processor 6847, 2KB video RAM, 16 colours (text mode), 5.25" FDD

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive