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 May’18, the national broadcast-only household penetration hit 14.1%, up 45% from May’12. Wired-cable, which had peaked in Feb’01 at 71.0%, has dropped to 49.6%. When compared to the May’12 percentage of 60.2%, 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 14.1%, there are many markets that exceed that average. In the top 50 DMAs, Milwaukee leads the pack with a broadcast-only household penetration of 27.6%.

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

DMA Rank DMA Name May’18 Broadcast-Only HH %
36 Milwaukee 27.60%
46 Albuquerque-Santa Fe 25.60%
11 Phoenix (Prescott) 24.50%
41 Oklahoma City 23.30%
5 Dallas-Ft. Worth 23.20%
33 Kansas City 22.90%
30 Salt Lake City 22.70%
15 Minneapolis-St. Paul 22.40%
39 Austin 20.60%
35 Cincinnati 20.30%

Source: May’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 May’18 HH %
46 Albuquerque-Santa Fe 49.20%
38 Greenvil-Spart-Ashevil-And 47.90%
44 Birmingham (Ann and Tusc) 47.70%
50 Memphis 47.20%
20 Sacramento-Stkton-Modesto 43.30%
11 Phoenix (Prescott) 43.20%
41 Oklahoma City 42.50%
30 Salt Lake City 39.50%
27 Nashville 39.40%
31 San Antonio 38.30%

Source: May’18 Nielsen

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