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Survey: Pay TV Cord-Cutting Population Rising

June 24, 2013

Nearly 6 million more people are relying on over-the-air broadcast television than a year ago, according to new research from GfK Media & Entertainment.

The percentage of TV households currently OTA reliant has grown from 14% in 2010 to 19.3% in the current survey — a 38% increase in about four years, according to the study that was released this week. The National Association of Broadcasters emailed the report to members of the media Friday.

“Over-the-air households continue to grow, making up an increasingly sizable portion of television viewers,” David Tice, SVP of GfK Media & Entertainment, said in a statement. “Our research reveals that over-the-air broadcasting remains an important distribution platform of TV programming; this year’s results confirm the statistically significant growth in the number of broadcast-only TV households in the U.S., which we identified in 2012.”

The survey doesn’t account for over-the-top services, like Netflix and Hulu Plus, which cost about $8 per month per service, plus the cost of a set-top box like a Roku or Apple TV. Cord-cutters supplement OTA television with those on-demand services.

The survey found that demographics of broadcast-only households continue to skew toward younger adults, minorities and lower-income families. Other statistics include:

•19.3% of all U.S. households with TVs rely solely on OTA signals — up from 17.8% from last year.
•GfK estimates 22.4 million households representing 59.7 million consumers receive television exclusively through broadcast signals and aren’t subscribing to a Pay TV cable or satellite service.
•Nearly 6% of TV households cut the cord in their current home at some point in the past, doing so to cut monthly costs from budgets and citing there isn’t enough value for the cost. Those responses were also the top answers in the 2012 survey.
•Minorities make up 41% of broadcast-only homes.
•49% of Latino households that prefer speaking Spanish home have a Pay TV service — down from 67% in 2010.
•28% of TV households where the head of the house is 18-34 in age, exclusively watch TV via broadcast signals, up from 18% in 2010.
•19% of TV households where the head of the household is 35-49 relies on OTA signals; 17% in which the head of household is 50 years or older.
•Two out of 10 younger OTA households have never purchased a pay TV service.
•30% of TV homes with an annual income less than $30,000 rely solely on OTA TV — up from 22% in 2010.
•11% of TV households with incomes of $75,000 or greater rely solely on OTA TV.

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