For the First Time in Almost 20 Years, Ownership of TV Sets Declines

May 3, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Ownership of television sets in the United States has declined for the first time in almost 20 years, reports The New York Times.

The reasons behind the decline include poverty, with some low-income households no longer owning TVs, and technological advancements, with young people giving up TV sets in favor of watching shows over the Internet, the story says.

The latest figures show that 96.7% of U.S. households now own TV sets, down from 98.9% previously, the article notes.

The change is leading Nielsen to consider redefining a "television household" to include households with Internet video viewers. "That would be a big change for this industry, and we’d be doing it in consultation with clients if we do it," said Pat McDonough, the senior vice president for insights and analysis at Nielsen.

The economy was also a reason for a decline in TV ownership in 1992, although that decline was reversed when the economy revved up in the mid-1990s, the story notes. If the current decline continues, networks, studios and distributors could feel repercussions, the piece adds.

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