Broadcast-Only, Satellite and Wired-Cable Households

Broadcast-Only or Over-the-Air (OTA)
Homes that receive the broadcast signal via the use of a special antenna to pick up the digital signal broadcasted by the television station. Wired cable and/or satellite boxes are not used.

Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)
A service whose signal is delivered directly to a viewer’s home via the use of a small, versatile satellite dish. The two main providers include DISH and DirecTV.

Wired-Cable
Households that receive their signal via a traditional cable box. These homes also include the telco providers, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS.

National Trends
In Nov’18, the national broadcast-only household penetration hit 14.3%, up 44% from Nov’12. Wired-cable, which had peaked in Feb’01 at 71.0%, has dropped to 48.7%. When compared to the Nov’12 percentage of 59.6%, it has dropped 18%.

Click here to see the national Broadcast-Only, Wired-Cable and Total ADS household penetration figures.

Local Trends
While the national broadcast-only household percentage is currently at 14.3%, there are many markets that exceed that average. In the top 50 DMAs, Milwaukee leads the pack with a broadcast-only household penetration of 29.6%.

Top 10 Broadcast-Only Markets (DMAs 1-50)

DMA Rank DMA Name Nov 2018
Broadcast-Only HH %
36 Milwaukee 29.6
47 Albuquerque-Santa Fe 25.5
12 Phoenix (Prescott) 24.8
45 Oklahoma City 23.6
5 Dallas-Ft. Worth 23.5
15 Minneapolis-St. Paul 23.5
32 Kansas City 23.3
30 Salt Lake City 22.4
31 San Antonio 20.9
21 St. Louis 20.8

Source: Nov’18 Nielsen

A significant number of television households may be missed by using local cable, as commercials may not be seen in some homes. ADS, or Alternate-Delivery Systems, are today primarily homes that receive their signal via satellite. While some can insert local cable ads on satellite systems, this may be only on certain networks, and only on the primary box in the home.

Top 10 ADS (non-Cable) Markets (DMAs 1-50)

DMA Rank DMA Name Nov 2018
ADS (non-Cable) HH %
47 Albuquerque-Santa Fe 48.6
38 Greenvll-Spart-Ashevill-And 47.8
43 Birmingham (Ann and Tusc) 46.8
12 Phoenix (Prescott) 43.4
45 Oklahoma City 42.3
20 Sacramnto-Stkton-Modesto 41.9
27 Nashville 39.5
30 Salt Lake City 37.6
31 San Antonio 36.3
46 Greensboro-H.Point-W.Salem 35.6

Source: Nov’18 Nielsen

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