Satellite TV continues to take market share from cable


Alternate delivery systems (ADS) – primarily satellite TV – now serve more households that wired cable in two of the top 50 DMAs, according to the latest TVB analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. Nielsen NTI data for February 2011 shows ADS penetration at another all-time high of 30.6% of TV households, TVB reported.

TVB’s previous report for November 2010 found Albuquerque, NM to be the only top 50 market to have more ADS households than wired cable households. You can now add a second top 50 market, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC, where 47.2% of all TV households are ADS subscribers, with wired cable at 46%. The remaining 6.8% get their TV exclusively from antennas.

Outside the top 50, markets where ADS penetration exceeds wired cable are increasingly common. Click here to see TVB’s calculations of ADS vs. wired cable data for all 210 DMAs.

Top 10 ADS levels in markets 1-50

    Television HH
DMA Rank DMA Name % Wired Cable and/or ADS % Wired Cable % ADS
36 Greenvll-Spart-Ashevll-And 92.8 46.0 47.2
40 Birmingham (Ann and Tusc) 93.4 48.7 45.3
44 Albuquerque-Santa Fe 83.3 38.9 44.8
50 Memphis 90.8 50.0 41.3
16 Denver 89.6 48.9 41.1
31 Salt Lake City 82.5 42.7 40.0
21 St. Louis 89.9 50.5 39.7
20 Sacramnto-Stkton-Modesto 90.9 52.2 39.6
12 Phoenix (Prescott) 86.5 48.2 38.8
8 Atlanta 93.9 55.7 38.7

(Source: TVB)

RBR-TVBR observation: TVB compiles this data to make the point that local cable advertising misses large swaths of viewers who can only be reached by local broadcasters. It also shows, though, just how effectively Dish and DirecTV are competing with cable on the video delivery front. Cable’s big advantage to date is offering triple-play packages combining TV, Internet and phone service, which is why the satellite services are working hard to develop stronger products in the latter two categories.