More Americans dropping cable and satellite for "over the air" tv
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - More people are watching "free tv" over the air than they were last year as more Americans cut the cord to cable and satellite companies. Many consumers are discovering more than the double the available channels than the analog days of "snowy" video.
New research from GfK Media & Entertainment shows that the estimated number of Americans now relying exclusively on over-the-air (OTA) television broadcasting has now grown from 14% in 2010 to 19.3% in the current survey. That is a 38% increase in four years. The recently completed survey also found that the demographics of broadcast-only households continue to skew toward younger adults, minorities and lower-income families.
The survey doesn't account for over-the-top services, like Netflix and Hulu Plus, which cost about $8 per month per service, in addition to the cost of a set-top box like a Roku or Apple TV.
"Over-the-air households continue to grow, making up an increasingly sizeable portion of television viewers," says David Tice, Senior Vice President, GfK Media & Entertainment.
The survey found that minorities currently make up 41% of all broadcast-only homes, up from 38% in 2010. In the most recent study, 23% of Asian (down from 30% in 2010), 22% of African-American (up from 12% in 2010) and 25% of Latino households (up from 23% in 2010) rely on free tv with an antenna.
Homes headed by younger adults are also more likely to access TV programming through broadcast signals. Twenty-eight percent of homes with a head of household age 18-34 (up from 18% in 2010) are broadcast only, compared with 19% of homes in which the head of household is 35-49, or 17% of homes in which the head of household is 50 years of age or older. Two out of ten (21%) younger over-the-air households have never purchased a pay TV service according to the current survey.
Lower-income households also trend towards broadcast-only television, with 30% of homes having an annual income under $30,000 receiving TV signals solely over-the-air (up from 22% in 2010). In comparison, 11% of homes with incomes $75,000 or greater currently rely exclusively on broadcast signals, a proportion that has changed little since 2010.
The Chattanooga television market offers more than 25 digital channels free with an antenna. WRCB programs two channels over the air. Channel 3.1 offers NBC as well as local newscasts and programming. Channel 3.2 is an Antenna TV affiliate broadcasting hit television shows from the 1970s and 1980s.