Slight Uptick In TV Homes, But Slower Viewer Growth

For the upcoming TV season, Nielsen has slightly raised estimates on the number of U.S. TV homes -- by 1.0%.

Nielsen’s 1% bump from last year’s projection brings the total to 119.6 million TV homes for the 2017-2018 TV season. For the 2016-2017 TV season, Nielsen said the estimate was 118.4 million -- an increase of 1.7% from the previous season.

The TV measurement company also notes that total U.S. viewers -- age 2 and older in U.S. TV homes -- are estimated to be 304.5 million, a 0.9% climb from a year ago. This is a slower gain versus the same period a year ago. The 2016-2017 stats show a gain of 1.6% over 2015-2016. 

Nielsen uses U.S. Census Bureau data combined with information from the national TV panel to arrive at its TV universe estimates in early May. It distributes final Nielsen Universe estimates before the start of each TV season -- typically the third week in September.

In addition, there is an increase of half a percentage point in total U.S. homes with TV receiving traditional TV signals via broadcast, cable, DBS or Telco, or a broadband Internet connection -- to 96.5%.

3 comments about "Slight Uptick In TV Homes, But Slower Viewer Growth".
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  1. Suzanne Sell from Independent, August 28, 2017 at 11:44 a.m.

    I haven't seen the demo breakdown of this, but it's likely due to lower unemployment and younger adults establishing their own households. Could it be that these young adults also like the luxury of watching video on the best available screen?

  2. Suzanne Sell from Independent, August 28, 2017 at 11:46 a.m.

    ...but the mere presence of the screen isn't going to change overall habits, and younger adults don't spend much time watching TV, which explains why the viewing isn't rising too.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 28, 2017 at 12:46 p.m.

    As we have seen, recently,  there is a slight decrease in the amount of time people devote to "linear TV', coupled with larger gains in SVOD/OTT usage, so, in total, there probably is an increse comensurate with the availability of more and more content---only Nielsen isn't geared to report all of it as yet. Also, the older age segment, which is traditionally the last to jump on new media bandwagons, is starting to increase its digital usage, which may cause additional losses for "linear TV" in the total time spent tallies. Not to worry, however, as every way we look at it, "linear TV", not just primetime but other dayparts, will remain the 800-pound gorrila for some time---except for light viewing teens and the 18-24s.

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