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CEA: Fewer Households Use Antennas For TV Viewing

Arlington, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released research Tuesday showing just 7 percent of American TV households rely solely on an antenna to receive their television programming.

The trade association said the findings of the “U.S. Household Television Usage Update” study are consistent with CEA’s 2010 research, which found 8 percent of TV households reported using an antenna only for television programming.

The CEA has advocated over-the-air broadcasters release public broadcast spectrum that is not critical to their content delivery through incentive auctions and other vehicles. The CEA urged the spectrum be redirected at wireless communications and data-delivery systems and devices that would be better utilized by the public to access those TV signals and other Internet carried offerings.

According to historical CEA research, there has been a gradual decline in the percentage of TV households using antennas since 2005. The phone survey of 1,009 U.S. adults is comparable to a 2012 Nielsen study indicating 9 percent of all U.S. TV households are broadcast TV/over-the-air only, a decrease from 16 percent in 2003.

“The vast majority of Americans no longer rely on over-the-air TV signals,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO. “Consumers have moved away in droves from traditional broadcast television thanks to a surge in programming alternatives available through wired and wireless broadband connections. This is why Congress had it right when they authorized the FCC to hold voluntary broadcast spectrum incentive auctions to reallocate broadcast television spectrum to greater uses, like wireless broadband. This study provides yet another reason why it is time for broadcast spectrum to be reallocated, and quickly.”

CEA’s study also reveals that most TV households (83 percent) receive television programming through traditional pay-TV services (cable, satellite or fiber optic to the home).

However, there has been a decline of 5 percentage points in the number of homes using those services since 2010.

The use of non-TV consumer electronics devices, such as laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones, in the home to consume content is likely affecting pay TV subscriptions.

According to the “15th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study,” these mobile connected devices are seeing the fastest increase in U.S. household penetration rates.

This decline may also be attributed to increasingly accessible Internet-sourced television programming.

Increasing household ownership of Internet-connected televisions and other devices which facilitate connection to the Internet opens up new possibilities for viewing television programming on a traditional TV set, the CEA said.

The study found 28 percent of U.S. TV households receive programming on their TVs through the Internet. In fact, 4 percent of TV households reported using the Internet exclusively as their source of television programming for their TVs.

The “U.S. Household Television Usage Update” was completed in June. It represents the findings of a quantitative study administered via telephone interview to two national probability samples, which, when combined, consists of 1,009 U.S. adults.

Six hundred fifty-nine interviews were conducted by landline phone, and 350 interviews were conducted by cellphone.