TV Universe Expands Slightly for the 2020-2021 Season

September 29, 2020

Nielsen US TV Universe Estimates 2012 2021 Sept2020After a significant increase of 700,000 in 2019, growth in the number of TV homes in the US has been somewhat slower this year — climbing by 400,000 to reach 121 million. So finds Nielsen’s latest TV Universe estimates for the 2020-2021 season.

Based on US Census Bureau data as well as information from its national TV panel, these latest figures report an estimated 307.9 million people aged 2 and older in US TV households this year. This represents a slight increase of 0.2% year-over-year (y-o-y), and comprises increases in Hispanic (1.9%), Black (0.9%) and Asian (2.7%) TV households as seen in previous years.

Despite the increase in the number of TV households this year being almost half the increase of 700K to 119.9 million last year, the TV universe has continued its gradual expansion since 2012. And, growth this year is more robust than the 300,000 homes added for the 2018 season.

Nielsen links recent growth to real changes in population since last year as well as updated TV penetration levels. As such, the percentage of US TV homes receiving traditional TV signals via over-the-air antenna, cable, DBS, Telco or via a broadband internet connection also inched up by 0.1 percentage points this year, reaching 96.2%.

This is despite recent figures from Nielsen’s Total Audience report indicating that traditional TV viewing was down in Q1 2020, decreasing by as much as 15.3% year-over-year among 18-34-year-olds.

Not only that, but indications that the TV landscape is generally evolving can be seen in recent research from Hub Entertainment Research, with online abd OTT sources overtaking pay-TV this year as viewers’ default source for TV viewing.

The full report can be found here.


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