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TV households in US fall by 500,000

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MUMBAI: The number of TV households in the US has decreased by 500,000, according to a report by Bloomberg quoting ratings provider Nielsen.

The weekly ratings provider in the US has said that this trend is a reflection of the increase in popularity of online viewing.

The number of US TV households stands at 114.2 million, New York-based Nielsen Holdings NV said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. This is the second straight year it has reduced the number of homes with TVs. In May 2011, Nielsen adjusted the number to 114.7 million, a one per cent drop and the first decline since 1990.

"We have had no household formation over the past several years, and I believe there is a modest amount of cord-cutting happening in younger households and in lower-income households," Bloomberg Industries North America director research Paul Sweeney was quoted in the publication.

This thus has given rise to the suggestion that it may be time to redefine TV households as a whole. The ratings agency conceded that it is currently working with TV and advertising clients on what should constitute a TV home and how to account for new products such as tablet computers. Online viewing is already being incorporated into ratings.

Three out of the four largest broadcast networks experienced drops in audiences ranging from two to eight percent in the past year. Comcast Corp?s (CMCSA) NBC, bolstered by the Olympics and football, increased its viewership by 19 percent, according to Nielsen data.

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