Nielsen: Number of homes subscribing to cable decreasing

Nielsen: Number of homes subscribing to cable decreasing

Summary: Homes with broadband Internet and free, broadcast TV are becoming a growing trend, increasing by 22.8 percent during the last year, according to a new survey from Nielsen.


Americans are still watching plenty of TV programming (maybe too much for their own good), but how they're going about it is changing.

The migration from the traditional cable television setup to Internet-connected options (whether it be a computer, mobile device or just the TV itself) with streaming video subscriptions isn't happening drastically or overnight.

But the shifts in behavior and how people are spending their money on digital media is still significant.

According to a new survey from Nielsen Wire, homes with broadband Internet and free, broadcast TV are becoming a growing trend, increasing by 22.8 percent during the last year.

Sure, they represent only less than five percent of U.S. households with TVs, but Nielsen found that this demographic tended to stream video twice as much as the general population and watch half as much TV. That's a big deal for online advertisers as well as the content providers, whether it be the digital media services (i.e. Netflix) or the networks and movie studios.

Even more concerning for TV cable companies, the number of homes subscribing to wired cable has decreased 4.1 percent in the last year, while telephone company-provided and satellite TV subscriptions have seen increases of 21.1 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Although the portion of households with both cable TV and broadband Internet subscriptions still hovers around 70 percent nationwide, that figure could change considerably given how many more (and cheaper) options consumers have these days.

Chart via Nielsen Wire


Topics: Broadband, Google, Smartphones, PCs

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  • Pretty simple...

    Wired cable companies 1) gouge consumers on price, and 2) have terrible business practices, in terms of how pricing is discounted for limited terms, and how price increases are periodically foisted on the customer; discounted packages are available, but revert to full price after a term, and one must call and complain and request a new discounted rate all over again.
  • RE: Nielsen: Number of homes subscribing to cable decreasing

    We gave up on satellite TV 1.8 years ago and don't miss it. We're not sports fans, nor do we partake in reality shows or sitcoms so the choices kept getting narrower for programming. After many instances of surfing all night trying to find something educational or worthy of watching we waited for our Direct TV to expire and haven't looked back. After we weened ourselves from TV, we became more involved with church, civic functions, activities of an outdoor nature, and our families. If we have a need for a show we do subscribe to Netflix for a movie or a documentary. The heck with TV.
  • Radio is going the same route

    Just as Television has really decreased in value programming, radio also has suffered tremendously from the same fate. One of the most powerful main AM stations in town has the most irriatating, dumbed down formats, every few minutes right in the middle of the annoucner speaking, they'll be a loud screeching noise (intentional) and a very patronizing voice with nasaly effects touting how great the station is! The other station I took refuge at slowly starting copying them now it's mainly programming of hacks selling cancer remedy and vitimins or fishing shows. One of the things I've noticed on TV is an effect where they'll have part of the image flickering light a flouresent bulb with a bad ballast. They're really getting desperate for the attention of viewers.