Little Movement Atop New Nielsen DMA Ranks

In Nielsen’s latest annual ordering of its 210 Designated Market Areas, there are only five changes in the top 20 markets and three among the top 10: San Francisco is now 6, Washington is 7 and Houston is 8. But there is a lot of movement in markets 35 on down.

According to Nielsen’s latest Local Television Household Universe estimates that took effect Sept. 28 for the 2019-20 television season, there were 155 changes among Nielsen’s 210 Designated Market Areas, with 82 cities moving up and 73 sliding lower.

In the new rankings there were only two changes among the top 10 markets and five among the top 20:

  • San Francisco moved up one spot, from 7 to 6, with 2,364,740 homes.
  • Washington dropped one, from 6 to 7 (2,351,930).
  • Houston moved down from 7 to 8 (2,330,180).
  • Phoenix climbed one to No. 11 (1,879,780).
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg slipped one to 12 (1,800,600).

The biggest change was a 10 slot rise by Youngstown, Ohio, from 125 last year to 115. The largest drop was nine slots by both Toledo, Ohio (from 71 to 80), and Chattanooga, Tenn. (from 83 to 92).

Nielsen lists the total number of TV homes for this new TV season at 107,007,910, a drop of 2.9% from last season’s 110,244,650 (those numbers don’t include broadband-only homes).

The full 2019-20 DMA rankings are available here.


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