Cord Cutting: Nearly 60 Million Americans ‘Get’ Free TV
Do any or all — young, low-income, minority — apply to you? Then there is a good chance, you “get” free TV. A new survey shows more than 20 million US households, nearly 60 million people, rely solely on free over-the-air (OTA) broadcast television.
GfK Media’s Home Technology Monitor report dishes the data and, if you are a cord cutter, there is good news:
• 19.3 percent of US TV households rely on over-the-air broadcast for live TV
— 22.4 million households, 59.7 million Americans
— 41 percent were minorities
— Additionally, most were young and low-income
• 17.8 percent were broadcast-only in 2012
• 14 percent were broadcast-only in 2010
“As we mentioned last year, these cost-conscious TV homes may be reaping some of the benefits of the transition to the digital TV (DTV) broadcast standard, making use of that enhanced digital broadcast signal and its better video and audio quality,” writes David Tice, GfK. “Another feature of digital broadcasting is the numerous over-the-air digital side channels, offering a variety of additional programming in addition to the main broadcast channels.
“In larger markets, this means there may be over 20 total channels via over-the-air broadcast signals,” he adds.
And, aside from the cost of a TV and antenna, those channels are free and local — no need to pay an out-of-town conglomerate.
Free TV: Follow the Money?
GfK also notes that over 60 percent of free OTA viewers cite cost-cutting as the reason behind their choice. That said, one-third of respondents were, in fact, cord cutters and had cancelled pay-TV service, opting for free TV.
Though GfK doesn’t provide a number, they add that “Few broadcast-only homes report Internet service connected to their TV set.”
Here at Fairer Platform world headquarters, we get a dozen OTA channels and use a Roku, which brings together scores of streamed channels (apps) and hundreds of shows and movies stored in iTunes.
How are you getting TV? Are you tempted to cut the cord for free TV?