US Satellite Subscribers Grow to 28.4%, Cable Subscribers Flat at 61.3%

Categories: TV Business

Written By

December 19th, 2008

Mediaweek has some new numbers on TV viewing via satellite and cable:

According to a Television Bureau of Advertising analysis of Nielsen data for November 2008, ADS (alternative delivery systems) penetration reached 28.7 percent of TV households, an all-time high that is up from 28 percent a year ago. Direct broadcast satellite, the largest component of ADS, is at 28.4 percent, up from 27.6 percent in Nov. 2007. 

In contrast, wired cable penetration remained constant at 61.3 percent, the lowest it has been since Feb. 1990.

No real surprises in those numbers for me, but this extra data on the fact that satellite subscribers outnumber cable subscribers in 26 markets (but they are likely small markets) was news to me.

There are 26 markets where a majority of consumers are getting their TV programming via ADS rather than wired cable. Another 63 markets have ADS penetration of 40 percent or more. Top 50 markets with the highest percentage of ADS TV households include Salt Lake City (41 percent), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (41.8 percent) and Dallas-Ft. Worth (38.7 percent).


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