US TV ownership down for first time in 20 years

May 03, 2011
Flat screen televisions hang in an electronics store in New York City. The number of US homes owning television sets is falling for the first time in two decades, the Nielsen Co. said on Tuesday.

The number of US homes owning television sets is falling for the first time in two decades, the Nielsen Co. said on Tuesday.

Nielsen estimated that 114.7 million US , or 96.7 percent of US homes, will own sets next year, down from the current 115.9 million, or 98.9 percent.

Nielsen said the last drop in TV ownership was in 1992.

It said there were several reasons for the decline, including the 2009 transition from analog to digital broadcasting, when some TV owners did not purchase new digital sets or converter boxes.

Economic belt-tightening was also a factor, Nielsen said, with TV penetration declining among lower-income, rural homes.

Nielsen said a "small subset of younger, urban consumers" was going without paid television subscriptions, watching video on the Web.

"Long-term effects of this are unclear," Nielsen said.

"It's undetermined if this is also an economic issue, with these individuals entering the TV marketplace once they have the means, or the beginning of a larger shift to viewing online and on ," it said.

"Nielsen data demonstrates that consumers are viewing more across all platforms -- rather than replacing one medium with another," it added.

Nielsen's Pat McDonough said "the media marketplace continues to evolve and become more complex.

"Some consumers are clearly being driven by the economy to make choices on the media devices they purchase," McDonough said.

"Others are expanding their equipment to add more audio/video devices to their home," she said. "Still others may be deferring a TV purchase or replacing their TV with a computer."

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User comments : 5

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Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet May 03, 2011
Maybe it's the fact that there is almost nothing on television worth watching any more except the weather channel, and even they are going the wrong direction with their programming.
Modernmystic
not rated yet May 03, 2011
A more intresting thing to know would be how many people are kicking cable to the curb...

I've been doing just Netflix the past two months and haven't a single regret and an extra 100 bucks in my pocket...
rgwalther
3.7 / 5 (3) May 03, 2011
If god had intended for people to have TVs, he would not have given us eyes.
"Television? The word is half Greek and half Latin. No good will come of it."
C.P. Scott

My dog refuses to pay attention to TV because TV is not real. "You know it makes me wonder..."
'Deja Vue', Crosby & Nash
maxcypher
5 / 5 (1) May 03, 2011
When TV went HD, I trashed my analog TV and now rely solely on my broadband Internet for news (plus PBS radio) and entertainment. I don't miss it at all.
KBK
not rated yet May 03, 2011
"The number of US homes owning television sets is falling for the first time in two decades, the Nielsen Co. said on Tuesday."

Good.