TV Ownership Declines For the First Time

by Nathaniel Botwinick

For the first time in 40 years, Nielsen Media Research is reporting that television ownership has declined.

Nielsen’s recently released annual “Television Audience” report reveals that the number of households with TVs is likely to fall from this year’s 115.9 million homes to an estimated 114.7 million homes next year.

That represents just over a 1 percent year-to-year drop, despite the fact that the number of US households in general has continued to grow.

Nielsen also reports that the number of households without any TVs is now at its highest level since 1975, with 3 percent of overall homes being TV-free.

Nielsen has suggested three factors behind the decrease:

* Following 2009’s transition from analog to digital broadcasting, some people ditched their TVs instead of buying a converter box or subscribing to cable.

* Due to tough times, it has become too costly to own a TV, particularly for rural or lower-income households.

* More people have turned to the Web, mobile devices, and other video outlets for their TV- viewing needs.

I think the last reason is the most important — the Internet has provided the world with the opportunity to pick and choose what shows we want to watch and when we want to watch them at a very low cost. Why bother owning a television?


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