Tom Butts /
01.08.2013 09:00 AM
Nielsen Pegs OTA-Only Households at 9 Percent
Percentage down from 16 percent in 2003
NEW YORK— Nielsen reports that 85 percent of U.S. consumers subscribe to pay TV, with digital cable garnering 52 percent and satellite capturing 33 percent of subscriptions. The percentage of broadcast TV/over-the-air-only households was pegged at 9 percent, down from 16 percent in 2003, according Nielsen’s report, “The Media Universe.” The over-the-air sector was illustrated in the accompanying graphic as “pulled out of orbit,” indicating decline in usage, along with feature phones and VCRs. On a daily basis, U.S. consumers view approximately six hours and 54 minutes of “traditional” TV, while the next most popular method of viewing video was “Internet on a Computer” which was logged at 28 hours and 29 minutes per month.

Nielsen noted that 289 million people own at least one television, with the majority (119 million) owning four sets. Only 31 million own just one set. Eighty-six percent own a DVD player and HDTV ownership is tagged at 75 percent. Only 4 percent reported owning Internet-enabled TV.

The 9 percent broadcast-only figure conflicts with a claim by NAB last summer that the percentage of OTA-only households in the United States was increasing. According to a survey conducted by Knowledge Networks, nearly 18 percent were reported as “broadcast exclusive” households, totaling 54 million Americans, up from 46 million in 2011.

“The Media Universe.” report, a snapshot of media usage in Q2 2012, is a consolidation of more than a dozen Nielsen reports issued throughout the year.

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Posted by: Anonymous
Tue, 01-08-2013 08:06 PM Report Comment
Actually, it doesn't say broadcast TV/over-the-air only "households" were pegged at 9 percent. It says Broadcast TV/Over-the-Air Only "devices". According to the language in that image, OTA + DVR or OTA + Internet Video would not count in that 9%. Keywords are "device" and "only". I don't see the word "household" anywhere there, except with tablets. The other references are to cume persons.
Posted by: Anonymous
Thu, 01-10-2013 09:06 PM Report Comment
Of course,... The pay-TV providers have pretty much erased the knowledge of the availability of Free OTA TV to the masses. When I tell people that they can receive free HD TV by hooking up an external antenna to their TV I get the "deer in the headlights" look. JL
Posted by: Anonymous
Thu, 01-10-2013 10:34 PM Report Comment
Here are a couple more relevant numbers that should be in the chart: How many homes use a combination of cable and antenna? How many people, who are watching cable, are actually watching the over the air signal which is delivered by cable. In our market, 2 of the cable companies are fed the signal directly. Even those two use off-air as a backup to the phone line. All the others pick us up off-air, including universities, large apartment buildings and cable companies more than 75 miles from city center. Let's not lose that transmitter, yet.
Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 01-11-2013 12:20 AM Report Comment
As another commenter pointed out, the language "OTA only" is what is causing the perceived decline in OTA numbers. If you have only an antenna, you are OTA only. If you have an antenna and a subscription to HuluPlus or netflix, you are no longer "OTA only". It's kind of like saying "15% of married couples are parenst to an only child." Then, when they have another baby the headline is "percentage of only-child households plummets to 9 percent!!!". One would assume that they still have their firstborn. People still have their antennas!
Posted by: Anonymous
Sun, 01-13-2013 08:39 PM Report Comment
How about OTA preferred ? I have OTA, Cable and streaming, but that's the order in which I record things as well.

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