Research: FTA viewing in US broadband homes up

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Consumer research from Parks Associates finds that 25 per cent of US broadband households use an antenna to watch local broadcast TV channels, up from 15 per cent in 2018.

The 360 Deep Dive: Today’s Broadcast TV report also shows that roughly one-half of antenna users do not subscribe to any pay-TV services, either traditional or vMVPD services.

The study, conducted in the third quarter of 2019, examines the demand for broadcast TV, including pay-TV, over-the-air, and online sources. The survey finds households that watch over-the air TV channels watch more video overall than average broadband households.

The study, conducted in the third quarter of 2019, examines uptake and perception of broadband services among US households.

“Local news matters to most households—local broadcast channels are the most preferred channel types, and news is the most preferred broadcast content,” said Steve Nason, Director of Research, Parks Associates. “These content preferences shape the access habits of consumers, so antenna usage is increasing as households look to meet these needs, and we will see these trends increase as more shelter-in-place orders take effect and households look for inexpensive content options to offset lost wages.”

Overall 78 per cent of US broadband households watch live TV channels. As households look to cut expenses, their reliance on antennas for information and entertainment will likely increase.

“Penetration of broadcast TV and antennas increased markedly in 2019,” Nason said. “Thirty per cent of US broadband households report owning a TV antenna, and we expect upward trends both in ownership and usage to continue, especially as we face this public health crisis keeping people at home.”


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