The number of homes in the United States with cable, satellite or telco television services fell from 99.23 million to 97.81 million between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. The number of broadcast only television homes increased by 1.91 million over the same period, while the number with only broadband rose by 1.5 million.
The figures from Nielsen show the number of television homes with only broadcast television or broadband video increased by almost 20% to reach 20.59 million.
Of these, the number of television homes with broadband only increased 39% year on year, to reach 5.37 million homes.
There was a continuing decline in the number of “cable plus” homes that receive cable, satellite or telco television services, falling by 1.4% year on year.
According to research company Dataxis, the pay-television market in the United States still exceeds 100 million subscribers, although the figure fell by 1.2 million between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, a decline of 1.2%.
The informitv Multiscreen Index tracks subscriber numbers as reported by service providers. The top 10 services in the United States lost 1.77 million subscribers year on year, ending the first quarter of 2017 with 87.93 million. That is around a 2% fall.
That still leaves these ten service providers with 75% of television homes in the United States, with about 10 million among other operators.
Nielsen estimates that 82% of television households receive cable, satellite or telco television, rising to 84% among white homes. Cable has a 44% market share, with satellite at 30% and telco at 8%. The number of broadcast only homes is 13%, while broadband only homes are 5% of television households. Of the broadcast only homes, nearly six out of ten do not have internet access.
So while the number of broadband only homes is rising rapidly, they only account for about one in twenty television households.
Online video services are still more of a supplement to rather than a substitute for traditional pay television in the United States.
57% of homes have subscription video on demand, rising to 69% among Asian American homes. That compares to 54% of homes with a digital video recorder.
Subscription video services are more popular among millennials, which Nielsen defines as those born between 1980 and 1996, with 76% having such a service.
This age group still watches three hours of live or time-shifted television a day, although that is down by 12 minutes on the previous year.
Those born after 1997 watch less, at 2 hours and 18 minutes a day, down by 16 minutes year on year.
The big question is whether younger people will continue to watch less as they get older, becoming more like those in their forties, who still watch 4 hours and 38 minutes of television a day.