Ownership of TV Sets Falls in U.S.'
Discarded analog television sets in Florida. Analog was rendered obsolete in the switch to digital broadcasting in 2009.
For the first time in 20 years, the number of homes in the United States with television sets has dropped. The Nielsen Company, which takes TV set ownership into account when it produces ratings, will tell television networks and advertisers on Tuesday that 96.7 percent of American households now own sets, down from 98.9 percent previously.
There are two reasons for the decline, according to Nielsen. One is poverty: some low-income households no longer own TV sets, most likely because they cannot afford new digital sets and antennas.
The other is technological wizardry: young people who have grown up with laptops in their hands instead of remote controls are opting not to buy TV sets when they graduate from college or enter the work force, at least not at first. Instead, they are subsisting on a diet of television shows and movies from the Internet.
That second reason is prompting Nielsen to think about a redefinition of the term “television household” to include Internet video viewers.
“We’ve been having conversations with clients,” said Pat McDonough, the senior vice president for insights and analysis at Nielsen. “That would be a big change for this industry, and we’d be doing it in consultation with clients if we do it.”
I have cut back to basic cable b/c most of the shows available online from TNT, History, &c plus with a lot fewer ads so their income must be going down if too many are doing that.