Fewer People Own TVs
Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2011) --
Nielsen announced this week that the number of U.S. TV
households this year has dropped from 98.9 percent to 96.7
percent. That's the first drop in TV ownership since 1992, the
Nielsen attributed the decline to several possible factors
including the 2009 Digital TV transition, mobile video and the
expansion of online video.
After Nielsen released its study, many tech sites jumped on the
latter two reasons as the real cause, suggesting that many
Americans are dropping traditional TV viewing for alternative
But I say that's hogwash.
When the federal government forced the Digital TV transition on
our country, I
predicted that as many as five percent
of viewers could be left behind. Despite the government's effort
to help analog TV owners buy digital converter boxes, I said
that some low-income consumers would not have the money and/or
tech savvy to make the switch to digital.
Consequently, I predicted, they ultimately would discard their
analog TVs and simply stop watching.
Now two years later, I believe that the drop in TV ownership can
be attributed almost exclusively to the after effects of the
digital transition. There is roughly 2-3 percent of the nation
who has given on television due to the transition's impact and
the nation's economic difficulties.
For them, TV has become too complicated and expensive.
And I don't think they are coming back anytime soon. In this
economic environment, they have learned to live without
television. When you have $4 a gallon gas, rising food costs and
unemployment at nine percent, there are more important things to
worry about it.
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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com.
He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast
outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York
Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial
Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can
be reached at email@example.com
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