Skip to main content

NAB: 81M Sets Rely on Free TV

In less than less five weeks, the broadcast industry has reduced by 19
percent the estimated number of TV sets in the United States that rely solely on
free, over-the-air broadcasting for video-programming services.

In an Aug. 3 federal filing released Tuesday, the National Association of
Broadcasters claimed that 81 million TV sets are not hooked up to pay TV
providers, such as cable or direct-broadcast satellite.

The NAB offered that statistic to the Federal Communications Commission to
emphasize that 'it would be inappropriate for the [agency] to discount the
important role' local TV stations play in delivering local content to millions
of Americans.

The trade group said 46.5 million sets are in broadcast-only homes and 34.5
million are in homes that subscribe to pay TV providers.

One month ago, Gary Chapman, president and CEO of LIN Television Corp., gave
a speech in Washington, D.C., during which he declared that 100 million sets
were off-air only, citing a study by Nielsen Media Research. The NAB's data were
derived from the 'Home Technology Report' prepared by Statistical Research

In June, two broadcast-industry consultants -- Dr. Joseph S. Kraemer and
Richard O. Levin -- prepared a report for the NAB backing LIN's 100 million