Broadcast-Only (aka Free Over-the-Air) TV Households on the Rise

Jun 19, 2012  •  Post A Comment

With a weak economy and rising cable bills, more Americans are watching broadcast-only television, or TV that’s delivered free over the airwaves, reports the New York Post, citing data from research firm GfK Media.

Almost 18% of all U.S. households with television sets are watching broadcast-only TV — roughly 54 million consumers, according to the story. That’s an uptick from the 14% of households who were cable- and satellite-free from 2008 to 2010. Last year that number rose by 1 percentage point, and in 2012 it jumped by another 3 percentage points, the piece adds.

“I haven’t bought into the cord-cutting thing, but this was the first year we really saw a significant increase in the numbers of broadcast-only households," said David Tice, GfK senior vice president.

About 6.9 million homes, or 6% of TV households, have canceled their cable service at some point and now only receive free broadcasts.


  1. This isn’t because of a weak economy, it is because they can get what they want on-line. My kids cut their cable and went to HULU, etc almost 12 months ago.

  2. Same unreliable source as last year. 60% cable plus 32% satellite does not equal 83.

  3. I’m not sure this a bad realy because the advertising inserted locally is going to be different than that of some thing over a cable feed or Satelite anyway.
    Also online ads are preset to run before streaming videos start and people understand that now.

  4. You are assuming you can only have one. I am sure some people (say 9%) have both for any number of reasons.

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