Cable TV

Americans Are Owning Fewer TVs

Cable TVThe long trend of Americans having more TVs in their homes came to a sudden end this year according to a recent study from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Twenty years ago just 1.3% of Americans did not own a TV, which was a rate that held fairly steady until 2009. Now in 2015 that number jumped to 2.5%. Not only are there more homes without televisions, but there are fewer TVs in homes. Back in 2005 43% of American households owned three or more TVs. That is down to 39%.

This is a huge change in momentum because between 1997 and 2009 the number of TVs had been increasing. In 1997 30% of American households had three or more TVs. In 2009 that number peaked at 44%.

Since 1997 the number of American households that owned two or fewer TVs has been decreasing; however, in 2015 we saw an increase—for the first time in almost 20 years—of Americans owning fewer than two TVs. In 1997 70.1% of American households owned two or fewer TVs. In 2015 that number dropped to 60.2%—a noticeable drop.

So why is this happening? More Americans own other devices—from tablets to laptops—that allow them to watch movies and TV shows.

It is also interesting to see that about the same time the number of cord cutters started to really grow. This seems to lineup with something I have said for some time now. American viewing habits are changing and many are arguing that fewer hours of TV are being watched.

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4 Responses to Americans Are Owning Fewer TVs

  1. ChanceDM March 1, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    This guy is one of them.

  2. Chris K. March 1, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    The study might be slightly skewed. Digging into the data a bit, they never actually asked about projectors when they asked about electronic devices.

    I know home theater projectors still aren’t all that common, but they are certainly in more households now than they were 20 years ago.

  3. Jeff McLean March 1, 2017 at 11:40 am #

    Tablets and phones are used so much today for everyday viewing don’t need tv’s in every room. My kids don’t have tv’s in their rooms but their ipads are used daily for netflix and youtube.

  4. Knipfty March 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

    I can concur. We have two in the house now. Down from a maximum of 5. The 1st one went when cablevision forced every TV to have box. 2 of the 3 kids moved out. One has cable TV the other does not. The 3rd child never had a TV in her room. She watched on her MacBook or in the family room.

    I don’t see us having more than 2 going forward.