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TV Ownership Declines For Second Time Since 1970

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the blow-up-your-tv dept.

Stats 349

bs0d3 writes "Almost every year, the estimated number of U.S. households owning TV sets goes up. Until now. This year, for the second time since 1970, TV ownership has gone down; by about 1%. TV ownership among the key adult 18-49 demo also declined even steeper, down 2.7 percent and percentage of homes without a TV is at the highest level since 1975. The reasons behind this appear to be online media content and the recession."

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349 comments

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232938)

first post!!! Ha Ha suckers!

Obligatory from The Onion (5, Funny)

Mean Variance (913229) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232966)

An oldie but timeless.

Man doesn't own a TV [theonion.com]

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233024)

I own two TVs. I use one for DVDs, Netflix Instant, and OTA NFL games. The other is collecting dust in my bedroom, I really should have it recycled.

So while I own them, I don't watch much TV--at least not until it shows up on Instant. Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WTF?"

You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233136)

I own two TVs. I use one for DVDs, Netflix Instant, and OTA NFL games. The other is collecting dust in my bedroom, I really should have it recycled.

So while I own them, I don't watch much TV--at least not until it shows up on Instant. Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WTF?"

You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

You can download TV shows on torrent sites about 10 minutes after they air. You can't really use not having a cable package as an excuse from being oblivious to pop culture; there may be good reasons for being that way but not paying for TV isn't one of them

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233200)

Ok, then how about I don't give a shit about your frivolous and trite pop "culture"? I'm too busy immersing myself in real arts and culture.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233856)

You know, Shakespeare, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Mark Twain, Mozart, Picasso, Warhol, and all the other names considered to be "real arts and culture" started out as "frivolous and trite" pop culture. Pop culture is just the art and culture of the modern era, the rest is just that which has seemed to stand the test of time.

Just remember that when you are not being a pretentious asshole.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233344)

I have a business class connection which is tied to my domain. I am not about to commit copyright infringement and have a direct link to me. Sorry.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (2)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233516)

I'm sorry. I don't care for the old "bread and circuses" crap called pop culture. Network television is a wasteland of rehashed sitcoms and stupid reality shows. Who needs them?

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (2)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233604)

There are plenty of excellent TV shows that have already had their run.

I just stared Farscape. I watched all of Smallville in the course of 3 months.

The only down side... you might get sucked in. Me and my roommate have watched the entire run of Spaced [wikipedia.org] this week. It's full of cultural references and pretty good.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (5, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233162)

I own two TVs. I use one for DVDs, Netflix Instant, and OTA NFL games. The other is collecting dust in my bedroom, I really should have it recycled.

So while I own them, I don't watch much TV--at least not until it shows up on Instant. Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WTF?"

You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

There's two TVs in this household too, but both are only used as display devices for PlayStation 3, PC and my tablet. None of them are used for watching actual TV - shows or such. Why? Because most of what is there is just plain crap and more annoying than entertaining. Watching TV is a terribly passive experience so if I'm going to sit down and just stare at the screen then I atleast expect it to be worth my time. Alas, if there even is a good TV show going it's always pushed to really late hours, it's shown only once a week, and there's only ever at most one, single good show running at any given time. Never more than one.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233362)

I guess I should have said I have it hooked up to a console device and I wouldn't have been modded into oblivion.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233754)

No, you were modded to oblivion because you came off as a douche in the post. The reason The Onion story in the GPP that you replied to was funny, is because the guy in the article is a smug asshole which seems stereotypical for people who claim to not watch TV.

Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WTF?"

You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

It is understandable that you seem frustrated that people talk about shows you don't care about. Many people feel that way, but the tone of disdain in the message makes you come off as smarmy prick. That is why you were modded down, not because you don't play games.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233958)

Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WTF?". You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

Heh, I used to be the other way around... "Saw the first episode of $show last night, was really good." "Oh, what channel does that run on?" "Humm... it aired in the US last week, not sure if anyone here sends it." or "Damn, season 3 of $show rocks/sucks!" "Umm, aren't we on season 2?" "Maybe you are..." Fortunately "I couldn't wait" is a socially accepted excuse among fans everywhere. Not to mention it seems to become more and more common, I find there's more and more people I can talk to about episodes I know hasn't aired here yet. Funny, that.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233166)

You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

Not in my book. The way I see it, you're a fucking hero. Keep up the good work.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (2)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233458)

While broadcast and cable TV may be down in viewership the decline in TV sets probably has more to do with saturation. Pretty much everyone has a TV whether it's used for games, internet video, traditional shows or collecting dust. People are still staring at screens a lot, it is just now connected to a general purpose computer and it's not called a TV.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233668)

People are still staring at screens a lot, it is just now connected to a general purpose computer and it's not called a TV.

But are they sharing the experience with other people in the living room while on a comfortable recliner or sofa, or are they forever alone in their own bedrooms?

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233722)

But are they sharing the experience with other people in the living room while on a comfortable recliner or sofa, or are they forever alone in their own bedrooms?

That is a good point. As the technology line blurs between TV and 'monitor' perhaps the differentiation lies in your question.

Re:Obligatory from The Onion (2)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233432)

I don't own a TV. Last year sometime I had to stay in a Motel and did not have a laptop or smart enough phone so was stuck watching TV.

I was inundated in all it's excremental glory. During a 1 hr movie I was presented with 20 minutes of commercials from the TV network along with slide ups, drip downs, splats and other crap slathered over top of the show I was trying to watch all the while the cable company had an annoying bar at the bottom harassing me to buy merchandise that had nothing to do with the demographic of the show, was boarder-line pornographic and mostly annoying.

I'd been TV free for two years. It had been bad when I'd quit but there is no way in hell I'll go back to those one way slimy assholes who think they own my eyes.

TV Free Since 1979 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233506)

and proud of it

Or... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232970)

Perhaps because everything on TV now is absolutely shite.

Re:Or... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233180)

Perhaps because everything on TV now is absolutely shite.

Or it starts out good, but then they beat it to death.

Sponsors pay for the shows and should be demanding better, but then they go and try propping up something like the Simpsons for a couple decades because it's a safe bet for viewer share.

Can't win for losing.

Re:Or... (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233238)

But increased "sponsor time" is at least in part to blame for the declining quality, esp. of comedy shows in my opinion. When the Simpsons started, they had two and half minutes, or roughly 10% more show time per episode than they do now. The extra time gave the writers more of a chance to better pace out their jokes and had time for better B and C stories. Some of the funniest Simpsons moments are the B and C stories, but there is no way any of those could have stretched into a full story. Part of the reason I think they do some of the extended couch gags nowadays is that the A story isn't enough to fill the whole episode, but whereas in the past they would have had enough time to do a good B story, now they are forced to make up the gap using a couch gag as there is no way they could fit the B story into the time allotted.

The shows are not the point (4, Insightful)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233900)

"Television [network] companies are not in the business of delivering television programmes to their audience; they're in the business of delivering audiences to their advertisers." -- Douglas Adams

(From "What Have We Got To Lose?"; first appearance in Wired UK #1, 1995; reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt)

Re:Or... (4, Insightful)

nomel (244635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233548)

They're talking about the physical device, not the content.

I have a "TV", but I use it as a large monitor for my computer. The only difference between a large "computer screen" and "TV" with hdmi and vga ports these days is an integrated tuner and less emphasis on things like color accuracy.

I think their numbers are going to get more and more meaningless as time goes on.

Re:Or... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233982)

The only difference between a large "computer screen" and "TV" with hdmi and vga ports these days is an integrated tuner and less emphasis on things like color accuracy.

That and being big enough to fit several people around. A "computer screen" still has to fit on a desk, possibly the same desk that once held a 17".

Re:Or... (5, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233660)

The commercials. Jesus Christ. When I very rarely watch live TV (say, at a friends house), I'm shocked by the amount of advertisements. How did people ever let themselves become subject to such shit?

I watch a few shows that I DL, and listen to public radio, if I listen to radio. Adblock on the web. Advertising is still stupidly pervasive, even with all that... Why would I pay to watch it?

Re:Or... (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233774)

Where I live, there are still a couple of good current affairs programs, and I find that lately there have been a couple of very good series (most notably from HBO). TV isn't all shite... but some years ago I've discovered that watching TV live (not live tv) is an utterly rubbish experience. Well, I didn't really discover it; it's just that before PVRs made time-shifting practical and easy, there was no real alternative to viewing everything as it was broadcast. That meant wasting time channel surfing, waiting for your favourite show to come on, and sitting through endless, repetitive commercial breaks... I can't imagine how people were/are able to handle that crap.

I still watch a fair amount of TV, but it's all time-shifted. I can download the series I want to watch, and most of our TV channels have a rather good service for watching their shows of the past few weeks on-line. And I still own a TV to watch it all on.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233992)

I can't say I've watched regular TV unshifted for a very very long time. I purchased a VCR that I could program a year after I graduated college, and I haven't watched live TV ever since -- and that was back in 1992. Live TV free for 19 years, and I'll never go back. Sure, it's gotten better with PVRs and now DVRs, but it's still the same thing. I skip the commercials.

Re:Or... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233830)

Have a look at all the adult fans of My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic. I watched some of it, and yes, it's aimed at 6 year olds, but within those limits on content and language, it's actually got characterisation and plots that make sense within the logic of the show world.
What does it say about modern television when a cartoon for 6 year olds is less condescending and intellectually insulting than the huge array of shows that are allegedly made for my demographic?

And the shit that is broadcast in corporate tv. (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232976)

'If it sold, rinse and repeat it' -> the same principle corporations employ in everywhere else including game sector is employed the same in tv sector for a long time now. so, we get shows that are repetitions of each other, totally geared towards keeping high ratings than viewer satisfaction nomatter what the cost in the long run (hence shows like american idol), creative talent getting tired (writers) of having to produce content too frequent and starting mold-cast repetitions and ...... you get the idea.

Thats also a reason why there is so much piracy. Shit is not even worth paying cents. There is so few content that actually is worth it, and they are being bundled with 100s of useless crap in order to bump up prices and sell everything over those few shows. A good example is sports broadcasts (only for popular sports though) -> bundle sports broadcasts with 100s of shitty channels and sell people. they will have to buy it for sports from those exaggerated prices. or, a few quality shows - all the same format. NO different than how music industry has been selling us albums containing sub-par 12 songs bundled with chart topper 2 songs for the last 2 decades.

Natural result of profit maximization of capitalist system - maximization eventually results in trying to achieve maximum possible profit with minimum effort in shortest amount of time, and you end up getting 'crap' as the product.

Re:And the shit that is broadcast in corporate tv. (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233234)

Yes, this is it.

I remember when the Discovery Channel was actually educational and even thrilling, showing a packs of lionesses hunting gazelles and whatnot.

Now, [discovery.com] it's a bunch of bullshit "reality" shows which all could be titled something like, "Ignorant wooden-acting rednecks hamming it up while doing tedious or dangerous jobs." Seriously, the West Coast Chopper guys?

Disco, get your fucking cameramen back out to the damn jungle or rainforest. I want to see strange animals and their mating habits again.

Re:And the shit that is broadcast in corporate tv. (4, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233318)

So you're saying "ignorant wooden-acting rednecks" don't count as "strange animals"?

Re:And the shit that is broadcast in corporate tv. (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233790)

They still do, or at least Discovery as a company still does. Only difference now is that there are different channels with different Discovery related topics (I think there are a total of 6 different "Discovery" channels.) The one you're looking for goes by the name Animal Planet, and yes it is owned and run by Discovery networks, and yes it is rich with plenty of animal porn (not to be confused with bestiality.)

I myself am an avid watcher of Investigation Discovery, aka ID channel.

Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232980)

Maybe its being inundated with invasive high volume crap they should PAY YOU to watch every 15 minutes. Its geared to intellectually bankrupt people, and its an insult to be exposed to it. I download shows now, and I feel good cheating cable companies out of revenue. I feel good. Why? Because their retarded content is destroying our society.

Re:Right... (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233110)

I download shows now, and I feel good cheating cable companies out of revenue. I feel good. Why? Because their retarded content is destroying our society.

Good job, you genius motherfucker. Let all the idiots buy the crap, then download the stuff that apparently is good. That will really encourage them to improve.

Re:Right... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233168)

Maybe its being inundated with invasive high volume crap they should PAY YOU to watch every 15 minutes. Its geared to intellectually bankrupt people, and its an insult to be exposed to it. I download shows now, and I feel good cheating cable companies out of revenue. I feel good. Why? Because their retarded content is destroying our society.

Well, the paying thing right there... Let's consider household expenses.

  • Mobile and data plan for the smart phone - 70$ (on up)
  • Cable/Satellite TV 50$ on up (I know some people with combined plans for this and above of around 140$ month)

Consider early cable was around $17 month and land line phone was $15 month (excluding long distance.) Getting kinda spendy, isn't it?

Re:Right... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233302)

I always found this argument hilarious, you complain endlessly about poor quality as the reason you won't pay, and yet you obviously still sit there and watch it. Um, you know there are other things to do besides watch shit, you are aware of this right? RIGHT? If the stuff sucks that badly, don't pirate it, go out for a walk, doodle on paper, read something etc.

Fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232992)

Ha! I told you so. TV is just a fad (says dead guy from the early 50s).

Re:Fad (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233140)

Ha! I told you so. TV is just a fad (says dead guy from the early 50s).

You probably mean Fred Allen, a great (nay, brilliant) humorist who hosted a radio variety/comedy show. He was well known for poking fun at Television and show characters, like Titus Moody the farmer saying he was doubtful of it, but had (by the early 50's) determined that Radio was here to stay.

I have an additional theory (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232996)

How about the idea that, by and large, the shows on TV are painful to watch?

Seriously, how people can subject themselves to the crap on TV now a days boggles my mind.

Re:I have an additional theory (1)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233250)

I don't think that's it. A TV is still usually owned for use with a DVD collection.

One thing I think they might have missed is that a lot of people who gave up watching TV just happened to technically "own" one, but since it was analog and not on cable, they finally got around to throwing it out when digital RF broadcasting made their sets incompatible and they didn't want to bother with getting the free gubment receiver.

There were a few months not so long ago where there was a TV out on the curb every few miles, as people put them out there hoping someone will cart them away so they don't have to pay a disposal fee.

Re:I have an additional theory (1)

whereissue (2522564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233620)

"There were a few months not so long ago where..." the technology was reinvented and vastly improved at that same time. those who care for televisions upgraded... now they all have one. they're back to selling TV's to people who need replacements. it was a bubble. but you mentioned DVD's... who stll watches DVDs and speaks about it in the open? are you a vampire?

Re:I have an additional theory (2)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233872)

I like to own movies I buy, rather than being covered by a "cheap" subscription service. I can happily plug in any DVD I own, be it a movie or even TV shows, and not have to pay for cable or Netflix per month.

Re:I have an additional theory (2)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233910)

Judging by the TV-on-DVD section at Walmart, Target, KMart, most department stores, Best Buy, and the few remaining "book stores", I would say quite a few people still watch DVD. While Amazon Prime and Netflix are really tempting, I will probably stick with DVD sets for my TV show watching needs. I also like having a physical library,

Reasoning (5, Insightful)

dcray2000 (969850) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233012)

What's required to be on modern TV
- Be as cheap as possible and thus totally suck
- Continue previous statement, but add shocking situations or violence
- Tell a story that induces anger about everything that's wrong with the world
- Have a panel of judges review the performance of yet another reality star
- Cook something you will never eat, or see, or see before you eat
- Watch fat people get skinny

What's banned from modern TV
- Good Science Fiction or Fantasy (you know what I mean)
- Truly deep and telling story lines that make you think about the wonderous possbilities
- Show all the good things that are happening 100 feet outside your door 5,000 times more often than the bad

... I can't imagine why people don't have a TV.

some shows to check out (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233066)

Person of Interest
Terra Nova
Lost Girl
Grimm

Re:some shows to check out (4, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233188)

He had already mentioned good sci fi and fantasy as being absent, no need to give examples of some of the current truly cringeworthy crap they are trying to push.

Lost Girl? (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233782)

No. That's not good fantasy at all. Give me a break. It's just the same thing as "The Fugitive".

You're watching "The Littlest Hobo" but with a succubus instead of a german shepherd.

I've been trying to watch Terra Nova to try to support some Sci-Fi, but I just can't be interested in the characters anymore. I feel I am letting the show down, but I also can't just waste my time if I don't enjoy it.

Re:some shows to check out (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234020)

Person of Interest - Garbage.
Terra Nova - Just couldn't get into it. Don't know why.
Lost Girl - Never seen this.
Grimm - I have every episode recorded on my DVR, I just haven't bothered to start watching it and decide if I should continue recording them or drop it.

Better shows to check out:
Doctor Who
Big Bang Theory

That's about it.

Re:Reasoning (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233120)

One thing you missed - engage in some topical issue in a completely tawdry and unconvincing way, like you expect when the lesbian couple announce they want to get married there's the unexclaimed 'Dun dun DUNNN!' hanging in the air, rather than let's really examine some real situations, rather than the oversimplified, dumbed down way so much writing is now.

Re:Reasoning (4, Insightful)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233496)

You forgot:

- Always use a pessimistic point of view. Happiness doesn't drive audience.
- Use cheap emotions whenever possible. No emotions except sadness or joy are allowed.
- Hire fake audience to represent your audience in your poor shows, and make them laugh when you need (remember Pavlov ?).
- Give random (poor) people access to the american dream, by giving them shiny objects.
- Explain with lots of details terrible crimes. Morbid fascination everywhere.
- Let people believe that possessing objects lead to happiness, and do that every minute, to be sure that they won't forget (ads).
- Always paint the world in white and black (if possible black). Never use another color, it's too disturbing.

Re:Reasoning (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233520)

- Tell a story that induces anger about everything that's wrong with the world

That's not true, they learned long ago that people buy into more shit when they're happy and distracted, where all experienced controversy is safely insulated from any parallel to the real world. All the shows with mass appeal that really say what's wrong with the world, like The Daily Show and The Simpsons, are funny.

Even the so-called "news" is nothing but distraction. Hey, don't pay attention to Rome burning around you, an attractive blonde girl was abducted in some state you don't live in or care about. Don't pay attention to the DOW dropping 500 points, 4 new McDonald's jobs were created last month! Oh, and you can sleep soundly tonight, because terrorist and pedophile plots were foiled, and that evil guy who was caught pissing in the bushes will get killed in prison.

Come to think of it, you are also wrong about the Sci-Fi - Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns play every weekday at 3am.

Re:Reasoning (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233914)

Ok, so its not screening at the moment, but Game of Thrones is in production with the second book atm...

Re:Reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234022)

No one will ever see this, but check out the 2010 New Zealand series "This is Not My Life." Supposedly, ABC bought the rights to make an American version; if it's like the original, it will be suck noticeably less than the rest of TV for the year that it airs.

Intelligence Increases (1)

FrankHS (835148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233034)

In a related story, researchers find an increase of the average intelligence over the same period.

Re:Intelligence Increases (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233688)

"I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book."

-- Groucho Marx

Seems like a meaningless metric (3, Insightful)

Meshach (578918) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233050)

I wonder how much of a correlation there is between people watching the television and the number of people who view a given program? Just because the TV numbers are down does not mean people are not watching the show online, on their phones, in a pub...

Not Watching TV... (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233092)

The shows which have appealed to me had dwindled to a few.

Then there was one.

Then there were none.

Television has become so many over-hyped, insipid or worn out shows. Last show I watched was 60 Minutes. Now if I can remember, it's on the radio. My television hasn't been turned on in 10 years. I used a TV card in my computer for a while. Now I read books, watch movies or get the few DVDs of shows which really were worth watching and view them in my own good time sans commercials.

I get antsy when TV shows are on, like I'm being bombarded with some some radiation and want to get up and out of the way. Probably something to do with writing. Something else to do with horrible actors - we don't have many quality actors, so many are there because they are young, look good or were comedians. Few really can act. I feel the combination of watching people terrible at the craft, mixed with uninteresting writing have failed to keep my attention. No problem finding things to do with the time, though.

The poll takers realized... (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233132)

... that indeed, there is nothing worth watching on broadcast TV. Cable is the easiest bill to cut out entirely, and would be the first I would axe completely if I lost my job (and of course that same demographic is also very much impacted by the crappy economy and high unemployment).

Computer monitors and gaming systems (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233134)

In addition to watching shows online, the ability to easily connect the XBox 360 and PS3 to a computer monitor has to be having a dampening effect on TV sales, esp. among the young. For less than $200, I can get a 23" LCD monitor that I can connect to my laptop for computing and watching shows online, and can connect to my console for gaming. Why on earth then would I want a TV, especially if I am living in a dorm or small apartment where space is at a premium?

Re:Computer monitors and gaming systems (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233208)

In addition to watching shows online, the ability to easily connect the XBox 360 and PS3 to a computer monitor has to be having a dampening effect on TV sales, esp. among the young. For less than $200, I can get a 23" LCD monitor that I can connect to my laptop for computing and watching shows online, and can connect to my console for gaming. Why on earth then would I want a TV, especially if I am living in a dorm or small apartment where space is at a premium?

You want a TV so you can hook it up to cable and they can keep track of what you watch, so mysteriously you receive advertising in the mail tailored to your profile.

DHS probably monitoring it, too, in case it turns out unstable people or terrorists favor particular shows.

The Interwebz did it (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233164)

I just about abandoned network TV about 15 years ago and I used to be teased mercilessly for being a gamer while everyone else was sitting on their couch watching crappy TV shows. Now, the general public is partaking in the much better entertainment options online. I bet half the time my TV is on is just for background noise when I'm doing something else.

Article is bereft of real numbers (5, Interesting)

mad-seumas (59267) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233174)

Household that do not own a TV set? Or households that own a TV set but don't have cable, OTA tv? In our case we dropped cable several years ago, still have OTA TV thanks to an antenna on the roof of our condo, but consume the vast majority of content through a computer hooked to the TV. So we own a TV, but according to Neilsen's rules maybe we don't own a TV? Maybe we just own a huge monitor? Maybe we don't qualify to be a Nielsen Family so we don't count?

Arbitrary Figures (1)

scorpivs (1408651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233178)

Where do they get these numbers? I am among the 18-49 demographic; I don't recall anyone asking me this year or last year whether I watch or even own a tv; I for one, was around in 1975, and I don't recall anyone asking me back then, either. Yes, I know what a correlation coefficient is. Additionally, I belong to several paid internet survey sites, which earn me several hundred dollars every year answering questions about products and services I have or use and none of them ever asked me whether I have or even own a tv. What was their resource base, a town of 5,000 people near Salem, Massachusetts?

Not Surprising (2)

monopole (44023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233182)

I haven't looked at a TV transmission in over a year, I only happen to have 2 monitors that incorporate receivers, cancelled cable over 5 years ago.

I either watch DVDs or streaming video. I do have a lovely home theater arrangement, with little or no time to watch it.

TV hit the point of diminishing returns a decade ago.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233708)

I have my 10 year old rear-projection TV up for sale on Craigslist, since I don't watch shows on it any more. I had cut the TV portion of my Comcast subscription down to basic, since for some reason its a few dollars less for Internet + basic cable than for just internet. This year that is changing, and now internet by itself is a bit less, so out goes the TV part. Any shows I want to see I can download, without commercials, and watch when I want. That's a better product than broadcast, which is when they want, and with commercials. My larger PC monitor is HD resolution (1920x1200), so no loss of detail watching there.

I expect in a decade broadcast TV will be in the same category as land phone lines are now. Still some holdouts who have it, but on the way to extinction.

Console TVs? (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233224)

I wonder how many of those remaining TVs are just "monitors" for consoles. I know people that have a TV to play their PS3/360/Wii on, but never really watch stuff on it.

I am one of those people without TVs, and one reason I stick with my DS instead of home consoles is that I don't have to bother with a TV, and a bunch of cables, etc. just for games.

What is a TV? (4, Insightful)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233342)

After glancing at the article, I have to ask, what is a TV? From the article:

a few factors that could be at play, including more people watching TV shows online

So that tells me that a TV is not a video unit capable of displaying television shows. Perhaps they are referring to those old all-in-one units that had a television decoder built into the display? I have a 42-inch plasma display connected to a computer and home network. It is primarily used to view NetFlix, Hulu, and some light gaming. I also have a DTV tuner in a different computer on the same network. It can send video out to about ten other computers scattered around the house. Not a single display in the house has an integrated tuner. Does that mean I have zero televisions, or ten?

On a side note, I do laugh when I read Hulu's message that the current program is not viewable on televisions, then proceeds to display the show on my television.

Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233418)

"The reasons behind this appear to be online media content and the recession."

It might also be that most people are starting to get tired of constant reality tv shows, and watching news that is not at all newsworthy. For example Paris hilton getting released from jail (and the news anchor trying to burn her news sheet) and recently kim kardashian getting a annulment.

I don't know what is your views?

Understandable (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233436)

I can understand the trend. Realistically, most of whats online is simply more entertaining and a better way to spend my time. I don't see myself getting rid of my TV anytime soon as there are still a few shows that I watch, but usually there's only one running show at a time that I actually watch (right now only "The Walking Dead").

Re:Understandable (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233670)

I can understand the trend.

To what trend are you referring? The only trend illustrated in the rather short article is that TV ownership has been increasing over the past 16 years (as well as the past 40)! Two points do not define a trend.

The story refers to a slight drop in estimated per-household television ownership from 2011 to 2012, plus the fact that the increase from 2010 to 2011 was less than in previous years - that's all.

The Slashdot Test Pattern (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233530)

For those who never RTFA:

Meanwhile the rich get richer:

Homes with three or more TV sets will climb a notch to 56 percent.

UPDATE A Nielsen rep, after seeing media stories reacting to their report and chart, emailed to clarify that TV ownership has actually declined once before: In 1992, "after Nielsen adjusted for the 1990 Census, and subsequently underwent a period of significant growth."

or the articles it links to:

So, my story (below) about six-month-old Nielsen data has so far been picked up by the New York Post and Pat's Papers.

TV technologies on their way up include DVRs, which Nielsen estimates will be in 41 percent of homes in 2012, digital cable (51 percent) and HDTV (67 percent).

Also upticking: houses with three or more TV sets (56 percent) and time the average household spends in front of the tube or flat screen: a record 59 hours 28 minutes of TV watching per week.

Despite earlier reports that suggested people were unplugging, cable and satellite TV use has remained rock-steady in homes with TV (90 percent versus 10 percent of homes using rabbit ears).

For first time in history, TV ownership declines [kansascity.com]

These blog posts are a few paragraphs long and don't link to the Nielson report itself.

I would have liked to have had a look at regional and ethnic distribution --- our local cable service has gone multiingual and multicultural in a very big way.

There are a lot of ways to feed media to that big screen HDTV --- if you can afford (and have access to) digital cable, broadband Internet service, the video game console, the Roku set top box, and so on.

I haven't seen a shortage of programs worth watching. The problem is finding a program that everyone in the family wants to watch together.

You all missed the most amazing thing from that (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233606)

Apparently it's not about the 1%ers, because 56% of us are rich:

"Meanwhile the rich get richer: Homes with three or more TV sets will climb a notch to 56 percent."

WTF?

There's nothing on (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233638)

This season, there are two spinoffs of "Storage Wars" - "Pawn Stars" and "American Pickers". That's how bad it's become.

The only time I see broadcast TV is at the gym. (They have basic cable, which seems to consist mostly of broadcast TV, shopping, and really old reruns.)

TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233696)

I have a TV, its used to play tv shows from the 4 cable channels I don't feel like paying $80/month to watch 24 hours of, total, per month.

   

I don't have a TV (1)

MoronGames (632186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233768)

I'm really not interested enough in regular television to purchase one. What shows I am interested in, usually show up on Netflix and Hulu, both of which I can (and do) watch on my computer. It made more sense to just buy a larger monitor.

What is the definition of "TV"? (2)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233784)

How do you define "TV"?

If you mean a display device with a tuner built into it, then there are two in my house (old CRTs), neither connected to cable.

If you mean a display device that can be used to display content regardless of a tuner (such as via the Internet), then I have 12, not counting cell phones/iPods. (7 LCDs, three laptops, two CRTs)

If you mean a display device with a coaxial cable or antenna connection that is actively used for watching sat/cable/ota broadcasts, it would be a bit fuzzy in my case. I've got a single HTPC that is connected to an LCD monitor and also streams cable broadcasts to two XBOX 360s. So there are three display devices that can be used to view broadcast television content (theoretically four, as I have 4 tuners in the HTPC, but have not assigned the 4th to any other device).

"TV" as it existed as a physical device ten years ago, does not really match up to what is sold today. Most "TV"s sold today are really just monitors, as they often lack tuners.

I'm sure the numbers can be manipulated to show whatever the interpreter desires, just like "record" sales.

Junk (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233788)

Also, perhaps the fact that the "network" shows STINK! Every stupid show that you tune into, be it on network or cable/satellite, has the word "reality" in the title. Cheap to make, and for some stupid reason the bulk of the fat a** idiots out there tune into this garbage.

Content worth watching, instead of bashing? (3, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233816)

This may not directly relate to the article itself, but how about trying to be a little bit constructive here instead of only offering criticism? What kinds of TV-shows or series do you view as being worth watching, worth your time? Are there some that you'd feel others might also enjoy and thus you'd like to recommend them?

I personally do not have any specific genre that I enjoy as I can watch mostly anything, it's the flow of the story and the believability of the characters and their actions that matters the most. Then again, as I watch movies most of the time and not TV-series I don't really have all that much experience on that field. I still do offer two recommendations that I personally feel that are definitely worth watching, and if you can afford it, they're sure worth owning, too:

* Breaking Bad: A high-school chemistry teacher in his 50s hears he has a lung cancer, realizes he has been an under-performer his whole life and wishes to be able to leave his family with means to get by even if he isn't no longer supporting them financially, and derails completely and decides to take part in meth-cooking business.
* Walking Dead: As if the name isn't already descriptive enough or anything, but, well, a small-town sheriff gets shot, is taken to hospital, is unconcious for some time only to wake up to a seemingly empty hospital and the rest of the town either empty or trying to eat him. From there, it's only downhill!

Re:Content worth watching, instead of bashing? (2)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233998)

I agree about mentioning the good stuff on TV these days. Unfortunately it makes up about 1% of all the content currently being pushed out at us. I prefer to buy shows like this on DVD or download them, then at least I get the full show, and I am spared the endless advertising breaks. IMHO its the onslaught of advertising that is driving people from TV.

* Sons of Anarchy - the trials and tribulations of the members of a motorcycle gang in California. Its kind of soap opera-ish, but its got some great characters and a great storyline. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1124373/ [imdb.com]
* Fringe - the best compilation of bizarre psedoscience I have seen, with a very convoluted plot that spans across all of the seasons. About the only thing I haven't seen them mention so far (as of season 3) is the Voynich Manuscript, but I imagine that's coming up at some point. John Noble (Denethor in Lord of the Rings) as Walter Bishop is hilarious. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1119644/ [imdb.com]

Reruns in prime time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233852)

On the other hand, used to be they'd order 23 shows for a season. Now the standard is 13. So half the time you tune in to a show and... it's a rerun. With more commercials than ever, of course. And they wonder why their viewers don't seem to exist anymore.

NHL jersey (1)

jersey123456 (2485408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233886)

Union in 1917, founded in Montreal, Quebec, began with teams in a series of extensions, is now a NBA jerseys [jerseymall.biz] total of 30 teams, 24 in the United States, six in Canada. Because the players’strike in the 2004-2005 season was cancelled after all the League had a successful 2005-2006 regular season & playoffs 2006 Stanley Cup. Historicallyin the past, because the Alliance of Canadian origin, MLB jerseys [jerseymall.biz] most of the players are all Canadians. Assets in the NHL Penguins Jerseys expanded to the United States & its coalition of high compared with other standards & the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe after the fall of the current production of high-level players, European Wholesale NFL jerseys [jerseymall.biz] players & American players have a significantly higher number of trends. Still, NHL jerseys [jerseymall.biz] ,2005-2006 season roster, half the players still in the Canadian-born.

DECLINE?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233944)

When I grew up, we were lucky to have the one TV and a little portable that barely got anything in reception. Grown up, I now have a TV in every room, one room has TWO!

The major difference being that I don't actually have cable, we rarely look to the antenna to see what's on and mostly watch downloaded TV shows, play games, movies and other streaming services.

Predicted by Star Trek (4, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233972)

I was watching an old episode of Star Trek: TNG (on netflix... on a computer!) and they had revived some cryogenically frozen people from the year 2000 who were shocked that nobody watched TV anymore. One of the cast members explained to them gently that TV had been a entertainment fad, and died out as a passtime by 2040.
 
I'm sure TV audiences watching Star Trek in the late 80s who had grown up on a healthy diet of 4 hours a night of TV found that hard to believe, or impossible even. Looking back twenty years, it is looking more prophetic than ever.

tv not dead yet (hyperlocal) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234036)

In the small town where I live the live broadcasts of the School Board meetings are the most interesting thing to watch. Ya never know when a fistfight might break out! Every Wednesday you can find me watching...

Is it possible (2)

Kevin108 (760520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234096)

that viewership habits are regressing? Instead of the whole family having their own TVs in separate rooms, maybe more households probably have one TV for everything and that more people are watching together.

More likely it's the fact that TV isn't just on TV anymore. It's possible to download or transfer from DVR shows nearly just as soon as they've aired. They can then be watched on any myriad device from a netbook to a smartphone.

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