Average US Household Has 2.5 TVs

January 11, 2011

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Broadcast & Cable | Data-driven | Media & Entertainment | Television | TV Advertising

nielsen-tv-average-sets-household-jan-2011.JPGThe average US household has 2.5 TV sets, according to new data from The Nielsen Company. “State of the Media 2010” indicates this figure encompasses 1.9 standard definition TVs (SDTVs) and 0.6 high-definition TVs (HDTVs). Furthermore, Nielsen data shows that HDTV households have more sets than the national average, 2.7, including 1.5 HDTVs and 1.2 SDTVs. Meanwhile, SDTV-only households average 2.1 TVs. Thirty-one percent of Americans own four or more TVs.

Adults Older than 65 Watch Most TV

nielsen-tv-how-much-watch-jan-2011.JPGThe average American watches 35.6 hours of TV week, or close to the equivalent of a full-time job. Looking at age demographics, Americans older than 65 watch an average of 48.9 hours of TV each week. In contrast, Americans age 2-11 watch an average of 25.8 hours of TV per week.

nielsen-tv-broadband-cable-jan-2011.JPGThe percentage of consumers with broadband internet access but no cable TV remained fairly consistent between January 2008 (3.2%) and January 2010 (3.9%). Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers with both broadband internet access and cable TV grew about 21%, from 54.8% to 66.3%. This suggests few consumers are attempting to splice their cable broadband internet access to obtain free cable TV.

Other Findings

  • 115.9 million US homes have at least one TV.
  • 104.7 million US homes are satellite and/or cable TV-ready.
  • 100.2 million US homes have a DVD player.
  • 70.6 million US homes have a VCR.
  • 65 million US TVs are HD-compatible.
  • 55.6 million US homes have digital cable.
  • 43.1 million US homes have a DVR.
  • 34.7 million US homes have satellite TV.

DVR Playback Users Have Wealthier Profile

Other recent Nielsen data indicates that comparing the demographic household makeup of prime-time US TV viewers who watch live TV, who have a DVR but watch live TV, and watch time-shifted TV within seven days after live broadcast, it is clear that households which delay the viewing of TV shows with a DVR are more likely to be wealthy.

For example, 30% of households engaging in DVR playback have an annual income of $100,000 or more, compared to about 25% of DVR households watching a prime-time show live and only 15% of all households watching live TV. Conversely, 22% of all live TV households have an annual income of less than $25,000, compared to 10% of DVR households watching live TV and 7% of households watching time-shifted TV.


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