With cord-cutting continuing, the number of U.S. homes that get content over-the-air through an antenna has grown to 18.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from 18.4 million a year ago, according to a new report from Nielsen. Those 19 million homes represent 15.3% of households, up from 14.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018, when there are 16.7 million over the air homes and just 10% in 2010.
The technology behind the distribution of television has evolved with time, from the antenna to cable to satellite, and most recently to streaming. Now, according to E.W. Scripps Chief Executive Officer Adam Symson, the time has arrived for the next frontier of TV viewing: The antenna.
As more and more viewers begin to rely on streaming, but are unwilling to cut out live and broadcast television completely, they are turning back to antennas. According to Horowitz’s State of Pay TV, OTT & SVOD 2019 report, a full third (34%) of TV content viewers today use an antenna at home.
Despite the prevalence of digital technologies rippling through many aspects of our daily lives, an increasing percentage of Americans are embracing over-the-air television. And in looking at findings from Nielsen’s most recent Local Watch Report, we see an upward trend in the adoption of digital OTA tuners.
According to a new Local Watch Report from Nielsen, there were 16 million homes it classifies as getting its TV over the air, rather than from a traditional cable, satellite or telco pay-TV provider. That’s up 48% over the past eight years. But Nielsen says what’s going on in those over-the-air homes is changing. Nielsen breaks down those home into those with no subscription VOD services, or “No VOD” and those with SVOD, or “Plus SVOD.” A new sub-segment of the Plus SVOD group is emerging, according to Nielsen, and those are the 1.3 million homes that as of May 2018 had a virtual MVPD like Sling TV, DirecTV Now or YouTube TV.
The Swiss government has given the country’s public broadcaster approval to turn off its digital terrestrial TV by the end of 2019. It will be the first nation in Europe to do so. Most Swiss have high speed broadband internet connections and cable networks in their homes, so the move is unlikely to affect many citizens. Other European nations are expected to follow Switzerland’s lead in the next 10 to 15 years.
The new diginet, which shows TV watchers what’s playing over broadcast airwaves in a two-hour timespan, is currently broadcasting at 12 stations around the country.
The maker of indoor TV antennas wants to get into the over-the-top business and plans to release a new device early next year that includes a built-in antenna for over-the-air signals and software to access over-the-top content from services like Netflix and Hulu. “Cord-cutters watch over-the-air broadcasts, but most people want more than just that,” says Mohu CEO Mark Buff. “You need over-the-air coupled with a Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.”
New research shows minorities, younger consumers more likely to rely on broadcasting; that 17.8% figure is up from 15% last year.
Largely relegated to obscurity decades ago, old-fashioned television broadcasts — over the airwaves and not via cable or satellite — are enjoying an unexpected revival in the digital era. With an increased array of online-video programming now drawing viewers’ attention, companies are starting to pitch consumers on complementing online video streamed from the Web with broadcast TV signals as a way to save money on cable subscriptions.
Time Warner Cable is working to add local stations to its iPad streaming app, allowing customers to watch broadcast shows on the devices anywhere in their homes. The cable operator’s offering includes a slew of cable networks, but no access to TV stations.
New research shows minorities and younger consumers are more likely to rely on broadcasting, with 15% of homes exclusively OTA.
In a report released earlier this week, the Consumer Electronics Association states that 10% of U.S. households are either “very likely” or “likely” to cancel pay TV services this year, while an additional 14% are either “somewhat likely” or “somewhat unlikely” to cut the cord. 76% of those surveyed were in the “unlikely” or “very unlikely” group. While those numbers should give some pay TV operators a little cause for concern — maybe as an incentive to offer simpler, basic channel packages at lower costs — the CEA report then veered off in another direction.
A new study by the Consumer Electronics Association makes the case for incentive auctions for broadcast spectrum, finds just 8% of U.S. TV households rely on OTA.