Study Shows Surge in Broadcast-Only Homes

Sep 11, 2017  •  Post A Comment

An unusual study of television households shows a rise in the number of broadcast-only homes over the past five years. The study by Nielsen, commissioned by ION Media, reports broadcast-only homes increased by 41% during the period, to 15.8 million homes, ION announced today.

The study, ION says, confirms that younger, more diverse audiences are increasingly turning to broadcast television.

“The study supports ION Media’s continued TV station and affiliate portfolio expansion, which will give U.S. households greater access to independent and affordable entertainment, kids, and lifestyle programming,” the company says in Monday’s announcement.

“Broadcast television is also proving it isn’t just for older generations, as younger, Millennial viewers continue to discover its benefits,” ION adds. “The report’s findings show that broadcast-only homes have a higher percentage of young viewers (median age 34.5) than total TV households (39.6). Additionally, 39% of broadcast-only homes have children in the household, compared to 34% of total TV households. Broadcast-only homes are also hard at work. According to the report, they have a greater composition of working head of householders than total TV homes, with 67% in the labor force.”

The data comes from Nielsen Research’s report “A Closer Look at Broadcast Households,” along with Nielsen 2017/2018 TV universe estimates.

“The growing multicultural population has placed an emphasis on programming that caters to diverse audiences,” ION notes. “This has become increasingly important among broadcast-only homes, as the report concluded that they represent a significantly higher composition of Hispanic, African-American and Asian households, 42%, compared to 30% of total TV households.”


  1. Does this mean households that only watch Broadcast? Or does this mean households that have cut the cord, but are watching all of their programming on the internet. Cutting the cord doesn’t necessarily mean increased broadcast viewing.

  2. its a shame that the people who run Ion TV are such greedy (“put four letter word here”) to the production community … they program only off-network cop shows and do nothing to inspire innovation or new original production … shame on these people …

  3. I got rid of traditional ADS too.. cable in our area is TOO expensive. This doesn’t mean I watch much broadcast though, I watch cable programming through Playstation Vue, Amazon and Netflix. I’d say that’s 95% of my viewing. The times I turn in to Broadcast is to watch sporting events that are covered on the networks.I wonder how much of this younger generation is watching youtube, netflix, amazon, kodi etc…

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