In a report, MoffettNathanson Research says broadband-only homes — which began to be included by Nielsen in its sample of TV homes in September 2013 — have risen to become 2.7% of entire sample.
It notes that People Using Television (PUT) levels are down across the board — with viewer 2-plus usage down 5% and 18-49 usage down 7% at of December 2014.
That usage was at its best levels back in February 2014 — around the time of the Sochi Winter Olympics — down just around 0.5% for viewers 2 plus and around a 2.9% decline for 18-49 viewers.
At the same time, cable TV networks' ratings have dropped. Monthly total day C3 (commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing) among 18-49 viewers sank steadily over 2014, ending down around 10% for the largest 30 networks.
Broadcast networks for the most part had a better time — down a couple of percentage points in October and November, after about a 7% rise in September at the start of the TV season. From April to August of 2014, those ratings were down around 5%.
Things might not get better. Michael Nathanson, senior analyst of MoffettNathanson, writes: “Given the ratings growth seen in first quarter 2014 (most likely a combination of the Winter Olympics in Sochi and last year’s record cold U.S. winter) ratings compares do not get easier until the second quarter 2015.”
As a result, it says “national TV advertising softened, which is odd given that a scarcity of eyeballs usually drives inflation.” Year-over-year growth in quarterly national TV advertising sank from a growth of 12% in revenue for the first quarter of 2014 to being flat in the second quarter of 2014 to a drop of 1% in the third quarter 2014.