Nielsen Estimates 121M U.S. TV Homes for ‘20-21 Season

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Nielsen has set its national television household universe estimate for the 2020-21 TV season at 121 million homes, up from 120.6.

The number of people age two and up--total viewers-- in those TV households is 307.9 million, up 0.2% from last year. U.S. Hispanic households were up 1.9%, Black households were up 0.9% and Asian homes were up 2.7%. 

The percentage of U.S. homes with TV receiving traditional TV signal via an over-the-air antenna, cable, satellite, telecom or broadband connected to a TV set is 96.2%. That’s an increase of 0.1 percentage points from last year.

Nielsen applies TV penetrations to convert the total household and population estimates to TV households and persons therein. The 2021 TV penetration for U.S. households was estimated based on data collected during the recruitment of homes for Nielsen’s People Meter panel. Nielsen’s national definition of a TV household is a home with at least one operable TV set that is able to receive audio and video through a cable, satellite or over-the-air source, or through streaming video from an internet source.

Nielsen uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, combined with information from its national TV panel, to arrive at Advance TV Universe Estimates in early May. It distributes final Universe Estimates before the start of each TV season. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.