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Nielsen: Broadband Homes Skipping Pay-TV Channels Up 23%

9 Feb, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Internet streaming tops four hours a month per broadband household — far behind traditional TV, DVR and Internet browsing

Subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix may dominate the news, but the amount of time broadband homes spend streaming video content lags far behind time spent viewing primetime TV, recorded programming and browsing the Internet, according to a new Nielsen study.

Nielsen’s cross-platform, third-quarter report found that in broadband homes with at least two users, four hours and 31 minutes per month were spent streaming video from the Web (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) — the same amount of time spent streaming time during the previous-year period.

By comparison, broadband consumers spent 146 hours and 45 minutes monthly watching TV; 24 hours and 59 minutes browsing the Internet; 24 hours and 27 minutes watching recorded content on the DVR; 10 hours and 51 minutes watching on demand programming; and four hours and 20 minutes watching video on a mobile phone.

Indeed, the number of U.S. homes with broadband Internet connections that forego pay-TV subscriptions represent fewer than 5% of TV households, according to Nielsen.

Among those homes, consumers stream twice as much video as the general cross-platform population. They also watch half as much TV as pay-TV subscribers — about 122.6 minutes per day, compared with 256.5 minutes for cable/satellite TV subs.

Nearly 1 million more homes subscribed to broadband while bypassing paid TV in the third quarter of 2011. There are 5.1 million broadcast-only/broadband homes, compared with 80.8 million cable/satellite/telco/broadband homes and 22.3 million homes that subscribe to cable/satellite/telco and no broadband.

Though broadcast only/broadband homes comprise the smallest subscriber group, this market segment has increased 22.8% since Q3 2010.

Nielsen said the increase in broadcast-only/broadband homes is significant, though not necessarily an indication of downgrading bundled services.

Instead, the report opined the trend could reflect broadcast-only homes placing more importance on broadband connectivity. Indeed, the number of homes subscribing to cable/satellite/telco decreased 17.1% since last year.

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