TV Universe Expands, Nielsen Ups 2016-17 Season By 1.7%

Nielsen’s new national TV home universe estimate for the 2016-2017 TV season is up 1.7% to to 118.4 million. A year ago it was 116.4 million.

In addition, Nielsen says total U.S. TV viewers -- those 2 years and older -- have increased 1.6% to 301.7 million.

Nielsen says 96% of all U.S. homes with TV sets are getting traditional TV signals via broadcast, cable, DBS or telco, or having a broadband Internet connection -- an increase of 0.8% from last year’s estimate.

A year ago, there was a decline for the 2015-2016 TV season -- to 95.2% -- from the 2014-2015 season, when it was 96.1%.

Nielsen says: “The 2017 National Universe Estimates reflect real changes in population since last year and updated TV penetration levels, differentially calculated for qualifying market break and age/sex demographic categories.”

In early 2013, Nielsen revised the definition of its “Cable Plus” universe of TV homes -- those who get TV via cable, satellite or telco -- to also include broadband-only homes.

Then in early 2015, after conversations with its clients, Nielsen removed those broadband-only homes from Cable Plus. Over the period, it also maintained separate estimates for broadband-only homes. In December 2015, there were 99.7 million Cable Plus homes.

In December 2014 -- the old definition including broadband-only homes -- Cable Plus homes were at 104.1 million. Taking out broadband-only homes for December 2014, Cable Plus numbers were at 101 million homes.

Nielsen’s national definition of a TV home is that it must have at least one TV and/or monitor with the ability to deliver video via traditional means of antennae, cable set-top box or satellite receiver and/or with a broadband connection.

1 comment about "TV Universe Expands, Nielsen Ups 2016-17 Season By 1.7%".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 29, 2016 at 11:01 a.m.

    In other words, Nielsen understated the number of TV homes slightly last year and is now correcting its estimate. In both cases Nielsen uses independent data plus its own definitions to create a projection base for its ratings.

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