New research shows minorities and younger consumers are more likely to rely on broadcasting, with 15% of homes exclusively OTA.
OTA TV Homes Include 46 Million Consumers
According to new research by Knowledge Networks, the number of Americans now relying exclusively on over-the-air (OTA) television broadcasting in their home increased to almost 46 million, up from 42 million a year ago. The recently completed survey also found that the demographics of broadcast-only households skew towards younger adults, minorities and lower-income families.
The 2011 Ownership Survey and Trend Report, part of the Home Technology Monitor research series, found that 15% of all U.S. households with TVs rely solely on over-the-air signals to watch TV programming; this compares with 14% of homes reported as broadcast-only for the previous three years. Overall, KN estimates that more than 17 million households representing 45.6 million consumers receive television exclusively through broadcast signals.
“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,” says David Tice, VP and group account director of KN’s Media practice. “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 survey found a small but notable number of homes that have canceled pay TV service at their current home. According to the study, 4% of TV households, which translates to 5 million TV households, eliminated pay TV service in their current home at some point in the past and now rely only on over-the-air reception. Of these homes, most report overall cost-cutting (71%) or not enough value for cost (30%) as the reason for doing so (respondents could give more than one reason).
The survey found some minority groups are more dependent on broadcast reception than the general population, including one-fourth of Asian households and 17% of African-American households. In addition, 23% of Hispanic homes are broadcast-only, a proportion that increases to 27% among homes in which Spanish is the language of choice. In all, minorities make up 40% of all broadcast-only homes.
Homes headed by younger adults are also more likely to access TV programming exclusively through broadcast signals. Twenty percent of homes with a head of household age 18-34 are broadcast only, compared with 15% of homes in which the head of household is 35-54, or 13% 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% of homes with an annual income under $30,000 receiving TV signals solely over-the-air. In comparison, 11% of homes with incomes greater than $30,000 rely exclusively on broadcast signals.
The Home Technology Monitor is a service that tracks both ownership of more than 100 media technology devices and services and the ways that people are using those devices in everyday life. The Home Technology Monitor leverages KnowledgePanel is based on a representative sample of the full U.S. population. The 2011 Ownership Survey and Trend Report is based on a survey, fielded in March and April 2011 on Knowledge Network’s probability-recruited research panel, comprised of interviews with a total of 3,343 households. The interviews included representative proportions of cell-phone-only, non-Internet and Spanish-speaking homes. The standard error range for a question asked of the total sample is approximately +/- 2%.