Skip to main content

Wireless TV Households on the Rise

NEW YORK: Wireless TV: It’s the latest thing. Nielsen’s latest Cross-Platform Report says U.S. households opting for the combination of broadband and wireless TV--otherwise known as “broadcasting”--rose nearly 23 percent between the third quarters of 2010 and last year.

“Nearly a million more homes are subscribing to broadband while skipping a traditional pay TV subscription,” today’s report said. “There are 5.1 million broadcast-only/broadband homes,” up 22.8 percent in the measured period. “The increase in broadcast-only/broadband homes is the most significant of any category, though it is not necessarily an indication of downgrading services. Rather, this could reflect broadcast-only homes upgrading to broadband as their needs change.”

Cord-Cutting persists...

 Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Anninger revised his 2012 pay-TV forecast late last year to a contraction 200,000 subscribers rather than in increase of 250,000. The decline is coming at cable��s expense.

Anninger put the total pay-TV universe at 100.8 million subscribers. Nielsen measures in households and came up with 104.1 million comprising cable, satellite and telcoTV as of the third quarter of 2011. The difference can be attributed to households subscribing to more than one pay TV service. ~ DMc
A further indication of that folks are upgrading is how they use the mediums. People in broadcast-only/broadband homes stream twice as much TV as the general cross-platform population, and watch half as much TV, Nielsen said. That said, TV still rules. The broadband-enabled antenna population watched 122.6 minutes of TV and streamed 11.2 minutes a day on average, compared to 256.5 and five minutes for all cross-platform homes.

“Whether they’re cord-cutters or former broadcast-only homes that upgraded to Internet service, these homes represent a very small but growing group of U.S. consumers,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen’s estimate for the total number of U.S. TV households is 114.7 million. Three-fourths now have broadband, the study said.

Cord-cutting continues, but the overall ratio of homes paying for TV remains about the same. Wired cable subs fell 4.1 percent during the period, while telcoTV subs jumped 21.1 percent and satellite subs increased by 2.1 percent.

While cable is diminishing, it still dominates TV delivery of all flavors. Wired cable households totaled 61.2 million at the end of 3Q11. TelcoTV households numbered 8.3 million. Satellite TV served 34.7 million households and 11.1 million U.S. households relied exclusively on over-the-air reception.

Mobile video consumption increased 36.9 percent during the period, but it still comprised just a fraction of consumption. Americans watched 28 hours of TV a week compared to about 7 minutes of video on a smartphone during the period.
~Deborah D. McAdams