Nielsen: Fewer TV Homes In 2011-12


The number of U.S. television homes has dropped to a two-year low.

Nielsen announced last week that there will be 114.649 million television homes during the 2011-12 TV season, down 1% from 115.905 million during the 2010-11 season, and down 0.2% from 114.866 million in the 2009-10 season.

This marks the fewest number of U.S. television homes since the 2008-09 season (114.457M).

Due to the decline in TV homes, a given number of television homes will now translate into a higher rating. For example, Mavericks/Heat Game 6 in June aired in 15.459 million TV homes, equaling a 13.3 rating in last season’s Nielsen universe. The same game would now earn a 13.5 rating in the new Nielsen universe.

Several major league markets will have their rankings change when the new television season begins. Among the markets to move up in the rankings: Washington, D.C. (#8, +1), Seattle (#12, +1), Pittsburgh (#23, +1), Raleigh-Durham (#24, +1), Indianapolis (to #26, +1), Columbus, OH (to #32, +2), Milwaukee (#34, +1), San Antonio (#36, +1), Oklahoma City (#44, +1), and Green Bay (#69, +2).

Among the markets to move down in the rankings: Atlanta (#9, -1), Phoenix (#13, -1), Charlotte (#25, -2), Baltimore (#27, -1), Salt Lake City (#33, -1), Memphis (#49, -1), and Jacksonville (#50, -1).

(Information from, Nielsen)

  • mark coale

    Is this due to people getting rid of cable and moving to internet only for their viewing? Or would that still be part of Nielsen?

    • Paulsen

      I’m not sure how much the whole ‘cord-cutting’ movement contributed to the decline in homes, but it probably played some sort of role.

  • Zac Rouse

    I work in tv/cable business. The reason for the decline in order of magnitude:
    1) household consolidation
    2) economic downturn (slowing subs growth)
    3) cord cutting

    Cord cutting impact is negligible, despite popular opinion.