The report estimates that 114.7 million homes will have televisions in 2012, down from 115.9 million in 2011.
Nielsen attributes the downturn to two very different groups of people: lower-income Americans who can’t keep up with the costs of owning a TV after the transition to digital television, and people who have given up their televisions in favor of other mediums such as watching on their computers, aka “cord cutters."
It’s too early to say that television sets are dead, Nielsen points out in its blog post on the study, since television ownership bounced back from a similar dip in 1992. And the general trend is toward watching video content on more than one medium, not that computers are replacing televisions completely.
Nevertheless, Nielsen is considering redefining its term of a “television household” to include those who watch online video, according to a report from The New York Times.
The firm says it is trying to determine how much of the dip in television ownership is due to the economy and how much can be attributed to a change in viewer behavior.
What do you think? Have you given up your television? Why?