Number of TV households in the U.S. 2000-2020

According to estimates, there are 120.6 million TV homes in the United States for the 2019-2020 TV season. Whilst the number of TV households continues to grow, pay TV is becoming less popular – the pay TV penetration rate in the U.S. was pegged at 75 percent in 2019, marking a drop of almost ten percent in just five years.

The trend of consumers (especially younger generations) cutting the cord and instead moving online to streaming services has meant that many pay TV providers have struggled to keep afloat. In spite of this, television statistics show that watching terrestrial TV is still a popular media activity among U.S. consumers.

Television statistics: the U.S. market

Television has been a popular pastime for so long that it seems impossible the medium could ever die out – but its traditional form is certainly changing. The advent of 3D and smart TV technology, as well as connected TV devices, mean that the ways in which we watch television are changing all the time.

A key factor when considering television consumption in the United States is how a consumer’s age affects their viewing habits and preferences. In a 2018 survey, 33 percent of adults between the ages of 55 and 64 years and 37 percent of those aged 65 or above cited viewing terrestrial TV as their favorite media activity. Just seven percent of consumers aged between 25 and 34 years old and one percent of respondents under the age of 25 said the same, preferring to view movies or TV episodes online via streaming platforms.

Moreover, weekly TV reach is higher among older adults in general, and the daily time spent with traditional television is higher among adults over the age of 50 than their younger counterparts. Generation X viewers still watch more traditional TV per month than digital videos, and even Millennials watch more hours of TV or video content via live cable or satellite television than they do on streaming services.

Number of TV households in the United States from season 2000-2001 to season 2019-2020

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Release date

August 2019


United States

Survey time period

Seasons 2000-2001 to 2019-2020

Supplementary notes

Figures for seasons other than 2019-2020 come from earlier publications.

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Statistics on "Television in the U.S."

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