TV antenna use hit 25% in 2019, expected to grow

March 26, 2020
According to Parks Associates, 25% of U.S. broadband households use an antenna to watch local broadcast TV channels, up from 15% in 2018. The research also indicates that ...

According to Parks Associates, 25% of U.S. broadband households use an antenna to watch local broadcast TV channels, up from 15% in 2018. The research also indicates that roughly half of antenna users do not subscribe to any pay TV services, either traditional or vMVPD services.

The study, conducted in the third quarter of 2019, examined the demand for broadcast TV, including pay TV, over-the-air (OTA), and online sources. The survey indicates that households that watch over-the air TV channels watch more video overall than average broadband households.

"Local news matters to most households - local broadcast channels are the most preferred channel types, and news is the most preferred broadcast content," said Steve Nason, director of research, Parks Associates. "These content preferences shape the access habits of consumers, so antenna usage is increasing as households look to meet these needs, and we will see these trends increase as more shelter-in-place orders take effect and households look for inexpensive content options to offset lost wages."

Overall, 78% of U.S. broadband households watch live TV channels. As households look to cut expenses, their reliance on antennas for information and entertainment can be expected to increase.

"Penetration of broadcast TV and antennas increased markedly in 2019," Nason said. "Thirty percent of U.S. broadband households report owning a TV antenna, and we expect upward trends both in ownership and usage to continue, especially as we face this public health crisis keeping people at home."        

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