Watching TV With an Antenna Continues to Grow in Popularity

Over-the-air TV has long been one of the main methods Americans get their TV. With an antenna, many Americans find they have a surprising number of free HD channels to enjoy. Now millions of Americans are once again doing just that as they ditch their overpriced pay-TV services in favor of watching TV with an antenna.

Nielsen Now Monitoring Ratings for 15,000 Antenna-Only Households

Nielsen, the service that monitors TV viewing for ratings and advertising, has taken notice. This week Nielsen announced that it will add 15,000 American homes that use an antenna rather than a pay-TV service.

So why does this matter? When advertisers look at how they are going to spend their money they turn to Nielsen. When they want to know how many people are watching a show, Nielsen is the place that tells them. From there ad companies decide how to spend their money.

Nielsen focusing more on over-the-air TV means over-the-air TV stations can get better ad deals. Better ad deals means better over-the-air TV content.

In short this is huge news for antenna owners. Ads pay for the content antenna owners see, and the fact that Nielsen is tracking over-the-air TV will allow some stations to charge more for their ads. That will mean over-the-air TV stations will have more money to buy content and produce new shows.

“We have long believed that over-the-air TV station viewership has been undercounted by measurement companies as multicast ‘D2’ networks gain in popularity and TV antenna sales increase. Today’s Nielsen announcement sends a positive signal about the renewed vitality of local and network broadcast television in an era of pay TV cord-cutting and cord-shaving,” said a rep for the National Association of Broadcasters.

Although it may take a while for this to become noticeable to the end viewer, having Nielsen spend more time on over-the-air TV is a win-win for the viewers and the stations.

Growing Number of Households are Only Watching TV with an Antenna

More and more households are watching TV with an antenna. A study released earlier this year found that 15 percent (and rising) of American broadband households are getting all of their TV over the air. And it’s no wonder why with the constant price increases of cable and satellite and the fact that most of the TV people want to actually watch is available for free.

Last year, 94 of the 100 most-watched shows (primetime series, major sports events like the Super Bowl, awards ceremonies like The Oscars, etc.) aired on one of the four major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC. And a vast majority of Americans live in areas where they can pick up these channels for free (and in HD) with a TV antenna. In some areas, there are as many as 150 free over-the-air free TV channels available. Sure, that’s an extreme example, but with people watching fewer than 20 total channels on average, it’s not about quantity as the pay TV industry would want you to believe – it’s about quality and choice.

Luke Bouma

More Posts by Luke

I am a dedicated cord cutter who owns Cord Cutters News. My goal is to help as many people as possible break free of high monthly cable bills without losing access to all the content they want to watch.

I have had the opportunity to test out a ton of great cord cutting services and devices. Hopefully, from all my reviews, news, and how to’s someone has saved a lot of money. At the end of the day my goal is to see as many people as possible leave “cable” behind and find the freedom and savings cord cutting can give them. You can find me on Twitter @CordCuttersNews or on Facebook.

I am a dedicated cord cutter who owns Cord Cutters News. My goal is to help as many people as possible break free of high monthly cable bills without losing access to all the content they want to watch.

I have had the opportunity to test out a ton of great cord cutting services and devices. Hopefully, from all my reviews, news, and how to’s someone has saved a lot of money. At the end of the day my goal is to see as many people as possible leave “cable” behind and find the freedom and savings cord cutting can give them. You can find me on Twitter @CordCuttersNews or on Facebook.

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