More people are cutting the cord on their pay-television service. (Fotolia)
Photo: Fotolia/TNS
Photo: Fotolia/TNS

Atlanta residents dropped TVs faster than folks in any major market in 2018, according to Nielsen

Originally posted Monday, February 4, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Metro Atlanta residents shed TVs at a faster rate than any other major metro area in 2018, according to Nielsen estimates. 

Nielsen measures the number of TV households in every major metro area in the United States. Not surprisingly, as people drop TV usage in favor of streaming, many are surviving without TVs at all.

And year over year, among all metro areas, metro Atlanta experienced the biggest drop in total households with TVs despite the fact the area population continues to grow.

Nielsen estimates there are 2,341,390 households with televisions in metro Atlanta as of January 1, down 108,070 from a year earlier. That’s a reduction of 4.4 percent from a peak of 2,449,460 as of January 1, 2018

It also dropped Atlanta to 10th place among largest Nielsen markets, falling behind Boston, which is now in 9th. 

That total is the lowest for metro Atlanta since 2015 when Nielsen estimated it was 2,334,520. That was also the last year Nielsen publicly released penetration levels, which were at 94.3 percent in Atlanta.  

Every metro area except New York in the top 10 lost TV households in 2018 but nobody lost more than Atlanta in either a percentage or total household basis. Even San Francisco, considered a tech-savvy city, lost only about 1.5 percent year over year. 

Atlanta won’t fall out of the top 10 any time soon. Metro areas vying for 11th place (Tampa/St. Pete, Seattle and Phoenix) are well behind Atlanta in metro households with TVs with a gap of more than 350,000. 

In 2015, Nielsen measured 113.8 million households in its top 210 markets. In 2019, that number had fallen to 110.2 million, a drop of 3.2 percent. 

Different organizations define “metro Atlanta” differently. Nielsen’s definition of “designated market area” is super broad, covering a whopping 55 counties. 

About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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