TV Technology Staff /
07.30.2013 02:37 PM
CEA Study Says Seven Percent of TV Households Use Antennas
Pay-TV services still dominate
ARLINGTON, VA.— American TV households are gradually doing away with the antenna, according to a study recently released by the Consumer Electronics Association. The most recent study found that seven percent of those households rely solely on antennas for TV reception. The CEA’s estimate stands in contrast to figures released by media analysts at GfK, publisher of The Home Technology Monitor. GfK found that 19.3 percent of American households—as many as 60 million Americans—rely exclusively on over-the-air TV. (See “Survey: 60 Million Americans Rely on Broadcast TV.”)

The CEA said its U.S. Household Television Usage Update was consistent with its own 2010 research, which showed eight percent of TV households were OTA reliant. CEA said its research demonstrated a gradual decline in the in household use of antennas since 2005. The survey is comparable to a 2012 Nielsen study that showed nine percent of U.S. TV households rely on broadcast TV/over-the-air, a decrease from 16 percent in 2003, but also slightly higher in 2012 vs. 2011. (See “Nielsen: Broadcast Reliance Grew in 2012.”)

CEA’s study showed that 83 percent of TV households receive programming through traditional pay-TV services (cable, satellite or fiber). However, there has been a five percent decline of households using those services since 2010. Non-TV consumer electronics devices are likely affecting pay-TV subscriptions, and according to The 15th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study, these mobile connected devices are seeing a significant increase in U.S. household penetration rates.

This decline may also be attributed to increasingly accessible Internet sourced television programming. Household ownership of Internet connected televisions and other devices opens up new possibilities for viewing programming, and the study found 28 percent of U.S. TV households receive programming on their TVs through the Internet. Four percent report using the Internet exclusively as their source of television programming.

The U.S. Household Television Usage Update represents the findings of a quantitative telephone interview study administered between June 6 and 9 to two national probability samples, which, when combined, consists of 1,009 U.S. adults.

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 08-02-2013 12:13 PM Report Comment
My household is one of those that is making the switch From cable back to OTA because the quality of programming is not worth the cost. What I find on OTA is what I was watching on cable, so, why pay for it? And, I've been talking to others who feel the same way. OTA is not Dead, it's on the upswing, from what I'm seeing. Announcements of OTA's death have been greatly exaggerated.
Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 08-02-2013 04:01 PM Report Comment
The methodology for counting the number of people that depend on OTA is way under counted. People living in 1000's of buildings that have MATV systems, when asked about the source of TV may well say they have cable. And of many people who are on cable, the source of the signal is OTA. There are thousands of TV translators out there. Many are converting to digital. If it were not for the system of translators out there, millions of households would have no over the air TV. Another viewing source outside the home is ignored. Take the hundreds of thousands of auto repair shops, barbershops, and the like that use antennas to bring in content. People are watching but are not counted. Given the antenna manufactures are reporting strong sales of both indoor and outdoor antennas, there are a lot more people watching OTA than are getting counted.
Posted by: Anonymous
Sat, 08-03-2013 02:52 AM Report Comment
The first commenter makes an important point that OTA-fed MATV is counted as an Alternative Delivery System with Neilson (and not OTA), making the Neilson research more in line with the GfK numbers. CES research is no where near what the other two are saying. I haven't seen the CES research, but I'd love to see the definitions they are using. Perhaps since it's "consumer electronics" research, OTA people who use IP vid devices like Roku are not counted as " OTA". Just a guess on that! 7 percent is a lot if it's just OTA with no other form of video delivery. I mean, who does that? :-)
Posted by: Anonymous
Sat, 08-03-2013 09:42 AM Report Comment
Posted by: Anonymous
Tue, 09-17-2013 11:53 AM Report Comment
I just cancelled my Cox Tv..Ran a coax cable out to my patio and hooked up my rabbit ears for a test and picked up 48 channels..I think people should try and see how bad the reception is before they start paying for services not needed.
Posted by: Anonymous
Tue, 12-31-2013 10:01 AM Report Comment
Interesting numbers. Only 17% of American households get their TV signal from an antenna (this number has grown over the past five years). Why has it grown? Three good reasons: With digital TV, the quality is awesome (often much better than cable since cable companies "groom" the OTA/antenna broadcasters, meaning they "crunch" the signal so it uses less of the cable bandwidth. The second very good reason people have switched is due to the cost of cable/satellite continuing to go through the roof (due to high rates from the channels themselves AND the cable company wanting a higher profit). And the third reason is that because digital allows multiple program streams to be transmitted from one channel, the number of channels to watch about tripled for people using an antenna (including decent specialized channels including classic TV channels). So why, of all times, does the government think it's a good time to take away the broadcast spectrum? A few good reasons here: Cable companies can maintain their hold (and build back their subscribers) if broadcast TV (over the air) is taken away or reduced. The wireless IP industry then can grow enormously (which, by the way, the same "air space" or spectrum we received TV on for free then becomes a "utility company" where we'll all pay for what we get through the air (and we'll pay by the KB or MB on downloads!) And finally, the government then auctions off this space to put money in the "federal bank account" (but as we all know, the government does a BAD job when dealing with money.. and my gut instinct is they'll get "spending happy" with the hundreds of millions to billions on the auction (though this is a limited resource and good to sell only once). So I was thinking... 17% is only about 1 in 5 houses. At first it didn't sound like a lot, but considering the high cost of cable (versus free TV), this is a significant income for cable companies/satellite providers. But if you look at the number of Americans affected (by actual number), 17% equals 53,940,124 (nearly 54 million viewers). It's just my opinion, but I really don't think now is the time for the government to auction the TV spectrum. If (or when) people migrate to internet for their TV viewing and the number of antenna viewers drops down to about 7% or less, then maybe that is the time to consider the spectrum auction. By the way, I "cut my TV cable" about 7 years ago and went to a loop of wire (antenna) on a broom handle on my balcony. I get about 30 digital channels and a handful of LPTV analog (though never watch the analog as they're all "bible beater channels". I also subscribe to broadband internet ($30 per mont) and pick up anything else I might want to watch off that (which was an expense I had WITH cable anyhow). The fact that I'm saving over $1,300 per year is great. And I certainly don't feel like I'm missing anything (other than "cable frustration"). Though my cable bill was a big reason for cutting the cable, I am thoroughly convinced that the industry knows NOTHING about customer satisfaction or customer service. I can't say I know many (ANY!) people who are "Raving Fans" (ala Ken Blanchard) of the cable companies or cable industry. The simple fact is that cable leadership seems completely ignorant or oblivious to being "customer friendly". For the longest time (and probably even today), they think they've got the customers by the (insert your own expletive or funny word here)... but the fact is, we DO have choices (more than ever!) Wonder who might also be a driving force behind OTA broadcasters losing their spectrum or being "technically crunched"??! One report indicates that all broadcasters would have to go OTA in standard def only (with current ATSC standards, this is certainly probably a correct statement). I think it's high time we (citizens/viewers) TELL our political officials "NO!!"
Posted by: Anonymous
Wed, 02-04-2015 11:16 AM Report Comment
But what pecent of Amricans are able to receive ATSC broadcast anyway? While I agree there has been an increase in cord cutting / Internet viewing, and cable dish there is also the fact that ATSC is simple not as effective as the older analog system. There is a large percent of Amerians that could receive at least some channels with the old analog system that now can't receive anything now with ATSC due to obstructions, interference, and distance which weren't an issue before. ATSC 3.0 should help but will be many years away and require new equipment to receive the 3.0 benefits.
Posted by: Anonymous
Thu, 04-02-2015 06:30 PM Report Comment
We love our antenna. Why pay for tv .... unless you are a BIG sports fan ... then maybe you want to subscribe to some special sports channels. With our lifestyle ... we have all we need from antenna tv.

Thursday 11:07 AM
The Best Deconstruction of a 4K Shoot You'll Ever Read
With higher resolutions and larger HD screens, wide shots using very wide lenses can be a problem because they allow viewers to see that infinity doesn’t quite resolve into perfect sharpness.

Featured Articles
Exhibitions & Events
Discover TV Technology