Skip to main content

Arbitron Says Terrestrial Broadcast Households Are Watching Cable, Too

An Arbitron analysis in Philadelphia with the Portable People Meter (PPM) finds that four out of five people from non-cable households -- those without cable or satellite TV access at home -- still mange to watch cable TV networks.

The PPM is an electronic audience measurement device carried by consumers wherever they go, so the device can track television and cable viewing outside the home. Used in a study of TV behavior of 262 panelists from March 28 to June 19, it found that almost one in three non-cable households are exposed to a half-hour or more of cable per day and five percent are exposed to two and a half hours per day. The analysis accounts for viewing the 22 cable networks and 10 broadcast stations that were actively encoding their audio signal for the PPM market trial when it began.

Arbitron's PPM-encoded broadcast TV stations account for 93 percent of exposure to television in the Philadelphia market and in cable homes, encoded broadcast TV stations account for nearly two-thirds of TV exposure.

Of people in terrestrial TV households, younger children aged six to 11, teens age 12 to 17 and people aged 18-24 are more likely to have higher levels of cable exposure than their older household members. Almost two-thirds of under-35 PPM panelists in non-cable homes were exposed to at least fifteen minutes a day.

The peak viewing time for residents of non-cable homes is Monday to Friday, 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; on Saturday and Sunday, the peak cable viewing time is from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.