Number of U.S. TV Homes Grows to 120.6 Million, Says Nielsen

NEW YORK—The number of TV homes for the 2020 television season in the United States has grown to 120.6 million, according to newly released estimates from Nielsen. 

Nielsen’s National Television Household Universe Estimates reflect changes in population since last year as well as updated TV penetration levels, the company said. 

The ratings company uses U.S. Census Bureau information in addition to findings from its  national TV panel to produce Advance TV Universe Estimates in early May. Final estimates are distributed before the TV season begins each year. 

According to Nielsen, 307.3 million people ages 2 and older live in U.S. TV households. This  represents an increase of 0.6 percent from 2018. Increases in U.S. Hispanics, black and Asian TV households reflect estimated growth in population. 

Nielsen estimates that 96.1 percent of all U.S. homes receive television via traditional over-the- air TV, cable, direct broadcast satellite, telco or broadband internet connection to a TV set—up 0.2 percent from the 95.9 percent estimated for 2019 in the preceding year. 

The company estimated the 2020 TV penetration for U.S. households based on data collected during the recruitment of homes for its People Meter panel.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.