updated 08:30 pm EST, Fri December 2, 2011
Drop follows several years of leveled off growth
Nielsen, the consumer measurement and information research specialist has just released its annual Television Audience report. In it, Nielsen has found that TV ownership in the US has declined for the first time since 1992 from 115.9 million households to 114.7 million. At the same time, the average number of TVs in each household has increased from 2.97 to 3.01.
TV ownership had been steadily increasing between 1975 and the early 1990s. In 1992, it dipped slightly, but then began a continued climb until 2006. Since then, it has remained relatively flat until 2010, when it showed a decline. Possible reasons for the decline include more online viewing and the economy.
A close look at ownership by age reveals that in the main adult demographic, individuals between the ages of 18 and 49, ownership has declined by 2.7 percent. Conversely, the number of homes without a TV showed a tripling from one to three percent, and is at its highest level in over 35 years.
The most likely causes have been pinned on a combination of a tough economy and technology. Cable providers continue to regularly hike rates despite higher jobless rates and hard conditions, leading to lost subscribers. Although they and satellite providers often refuse to acknowledge it, cord-cutting in favor of Internet video is believed to be increasingly popular, especially among younger viewers. Many not only can't justify spending dozens of dollars each month on TV but have often grown up with Internet video or prefer to spend money on games and other more active sources of entertainment. [via Entertainment Weekly]