Originally Posted by confuzzled
That may or may not be true, but with the economy the way it is, more and more people are dropping cable and/or satellite simply because they can't afford it. It'll be OTA or nothing, IF they even have a TV.
True, there are a lot of people right now who are cutting back out of necessity. I know several that have gone to OTA only to save money. However, that's likely not a permanent situation. It's a temporary sacrifice people are making so they have money to pay for more important things.
There's also the topic of free programming via the internet to consider. I now spend almost as much time watching streams on sites like hulu, youtube and network maintained sites (msnbc.com, cbs.com, etc.) as I do watching actual TV. I have a friend that got rid of his cable, but not his internet connection. He now exclusively watches TV programming through the internet.
The bottom line, IMO, is that OTA's long term prospects are to serve only a limited market. Despite the digital conversion, OTA is not going back to its glory days. I think the majority of the population agree that services like cable and DBS are superior because of their vastly greater variety, and the people who stick with the OTA route either do it to augment their subscription service (for better picture quality, or to add locals when they don't get them via DBS) or they do it because of financial reasons. The final group are those who don't watch enough TV (or care about what they watch)to want to pay for it.
Originally Posted by Jeremy W
Last time I checked, the number was around 85% of households receiving TV via cable or DBS. I guarantee that number hasn't dropped significantly.
The latest estimates I have seen agree with your numbers. The range is approximated to be between 12% and 18.9% depending on who has done the estimating. So 15% OTA is a good guess. Backup here
There are also between 1 and 3% of homes that don't have a TV at all. An estimated 56% of homes subscribe to cable, making it the largest way in which people receive their TV programming.