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Nielsen: 5 Million Homes Forego Linear Television

12 Mar, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The tally is up from 2 million households in 2007

More than 5 million American homes are bypassing traditional cable, satellite and teleco providers to be entertained in the home — and on television, according to new data from Nielsen. This TV-free demo, which makes up less than 5% of U.S. households, has bucked tradition by opting to get their entertainment from non-traditional TV devices and services such as the Internet.

While the impact of cord-cutting is downplayed by multichannel video program distributors and over-the-top video services such as Netflix, the fact remains that 3 million more U.S. households are opting to get their entertainment through Internet-connected devices than did in 2007.

Among these households, 67% derive entertainment via connected devices, including desktop computer or laptop (37%), alternate device (16%), smartphone (8%) or tablet (6%).

The average American spends more than 41 hours a week — nearly five-and-a-half hours daily — watching content across all screens, according to Nielsen. They spend most of that time (more than 34 hours) in front of the TV. About three of those hours are spent watching time-shifted content.

Indeed, in the fourth quarter of 2012, Nielsen said the average TV household watched 4:39 minutes of linear programming, 25 minutes of recorded programming, 13 minutes of video gaming and 11 minutes of a DVD or Blu-ray Disc.

Viewing behavior varies by ethnic group. The average African-American spends close to 55 hours a week watching TV, while Hispanics watch just over 35 hours and Asian-Americans watch more than 27 hours.

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