A fifth of households in the United States with access to the internet also have a television antenna, according to a recent report. And 12% of those that do not have an antenna apparently plan to purchase on in the next six months. That is a positive spin on the rollout of the NEXTGEN TV standard, ATSC 3.0, which has been making slow progress across the United States. Meanwhile, Americans are finding more and more free channels that they can watch online.
“The percentage of antenna owners has remained steady over the last few years, creating a stable audience for broadcasters at a time when they are losing revenues from lost retransmission fees as consumers abandon pay TV for streaming services,” said Alan Bullock, an analyst at Parks Associates. “ATSC 3.0 has the potential to pump new life into broadcast TV.”
According to Parks Associates research, television antenna owners report watching about 6.4 hours of over-the-air programming per week, second only to subscription-based online video at 7.6 hours per week.
For nearly 30% of antenna owners, over the air television is the preferred method of watching live news, while approximately 20% use it to watch live sports. Almost the same percentage use it to watch television shows and movies.
The report suggests that the ATSC 3.0 standard, promoted as NEXTGEN TV, could improve the experiences for these viewers, and attract new over-the-air viewers by enabling higher quality video, enhanced audio, and interactive capabilities.
The research is based on quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households in the United States.
Leading manufacturers Hisense, LG, Samsung and Sony offer more than 100 NEXTGEN TV models between them. Nearly 10 million ATSC 3.0 televisions have shipped in the United States.
The rollout of ATSC 3.0 services in the United States has been slow but steady. More than 100 million households can now be reached by at least one signal. The promise of 4K ultra-high-definition services has yet to be delivered.
Meanwhile, Brazil is considering elements of ATSC 3.0 for its next-generation TV 3.0 television standard. The ATSC 3.0 physical layer is one of two technologies to move to the final phase of evaluation.
The report, ATSC 3.0: Impact and Opportunity for Video Services, is available for Purchase form Parks Associates.