06.06.2011 02:45 PM
You Say Potahto: OTA Reliance Pegged at 15 Percent
RECEPTION NEW YORK: Around 46 million Americans rely on broadcasters for their TV service. So say the market researchers at Knowledge Networks. The firm said the total had increased by 4 million people from one year ago, when 42 million people lived in broadcast-only households. This year’s total comprises around 15 percent of U.S. households compared to 14 percent for the previous three years. The Consumer Electronics Association recently estimated over-the-air reliance at 8 percent, and having declined since 2005. (See “CEA Pegs OTA Audience at 8 Percent.”)

“As we’ve seen for the past few years, over-the-air households continue to make up a sizeable portion of the television viewing landscape,” KN’s
 David Tice said. “Our research reveals that over-the-air broadcasting remains an important distribution platform of TV programming, and that the estimated number of broadcast TV households in the U.S. has grown.”

The numbers were derived from a survey of 3,343 U.S. households conducted in March and April of this year, which were compared to U.S. Census figures. They also revealed that broadcast-only households skewed toward younger adults, minorities and lower-income families.

This year’s survey “found a small but notable number of homes that have canceled pay TV service at their current home,” KN said. Around 5 million, or 4 percent, of TV households dropped pay TV service “at some point in the past” and now just use broadcast reception, KN said. The majority cited cost as the reason for doing so.

The survey found some minority groups are more dependent on broadcast reception than the general population, e.g., 25 percent of Asian households and 17 percent of African-American households. In addition, 23 percent of Hispanic homes are broadcast-only, a proportion that increases to 27 percent among homes in which Spanish is the language of choice. In all, minorities make up 40 percent of all broadcast-only homes.

Homes headed by younger adults also are more likely to rely on broadcast TV: 20 percent of homes with a head of household 18-34 are broadcast only, compared with 15 percent of homes in which the head of household is 35-54, or 13 percent of homes in which the head of household is 55 years of age or older.

Lower-income households also trend towards broadcast-only television, with 23 percent of homes with an annual income under $30,000 receiving TV signals solely over-the-air. In comparison, 11 percent of homes with incomes greater than $30,000 rely exclusively on broadcast signals.

~ Deborah D. McAdams

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Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Wed, 06-08-2011 02:42 PM Report Comment
We need to get congress to look at spectrum auction authorization like this: 85% of the voters will neither notice nor care if broadcast TV goes away. But the other 15% will be ticked off and motivated to vote against you, because you broke their TV set. ;-)
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Tue, 06-07-2011 02:07 PM Report Comment
"20 percent of homes with a head of household 18-34 are broadcast only." I can see the future, and it looks wireless and free!!!
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Mon, 06-06-2011 03:47 PM Report Comment
And broadcasters still wonder why ad dollars go to alternate media. Research like this is good ammo for MSOs and Internet-based businesses to grab a larger slice of the advertising budget pie as this audience is not who any advertiser desires to reach unless they're in the business of cashing payday checks at outrageous interest rates. I see the future of OTA broadcasters and what their commercial breaks will look like...
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Mon, 06-06-2011 04:00 PM Report Comment
It would be informative to know if the "OTA only" households also have broadband internet service.

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