One in Four TV Sets Gets Only Broadcast TV

May 17, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Television

Some 23% of all television sets in US consumers’ homes do not receive cable or direct broadcast satellite (DBS) programming, which means more than 70 million TV sets in US households receive only over-the-air broadcast TV, according to a report from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). 

Just 15% of households nationwide do not subscribe to cable, DBS, or any other type of multi-channel video service, and those households account for half of all broadcast-only TV sets.

The remaining half are in households that do subscribe to cable or DBS: 9% percent of TV sets in cable households, and 19% of TV sets in DBS households, are broadcast-only.

Other key findings from the LRG study:

  • 70% of all TV sets in cable households are not connected to a set-top box
  • 42% of households that subscribe to cable TV do not have any cable set-top boxes
  • The mean number of TV sets:
    • In digital cable households, 3.1
    • In analog cable households, 2.7
    • In DBS households (where cable is available), 2.9
    • In households that do not subscribe to a TV service, 2.1

“Just 36% of all TV sets in the US are currently connected to a cable or DBS set-top converter box,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG.

“With the digital transition now less than two years away, much work clearly still needs to be done to prevent millions of TV sets from going dark in February 2009.”

The study findings are based on a March 2007 telephone survey of 1,600 randomly selected households from throughout the United States and are part of an LRG study titled “Cable and DBS: Competing for Customers 2007.” The random sample of respondents was distributed to best reflect the demographic and geographic make-up of the US.

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