According to Nielsen’s National Television Household Universe Estimates, there are 116.4 million TV homes in the U.S. for the 2015-16 TV season—even with the 2014-15 estimate.
The number of persons age 2 and older in U.S. TV Households is estimated to be 296.8 million. This represents an increase of 0.3% from the prior year. Increases in U.S. Hispanic, black and Asian households were also seen, due to estimated population growth.
Nielsen uses U.S. Census Bureau data and auxiliary sources, such as state governments, to arrive at Advance TV Universe Estimates in early May. It then distributes final Universe Estimates before the start of each TV season.
The 2016 National Universe Estimates reflect 1) real changes in population since last year and 2) updated TV penetration levels, differentially calculated for qualifying market break and age/sex demographic categories.
Additionally, the percentage of total U.S. homes with televisions receiving traditional TV signals via broadcast, cable, DBS or Telco, or having a broadband Internet connection is currently at 95.2%, declining slightly from the 96.1% at the start of the 2014-15 TV season.
Nielsen applies TV penetrations to convert the total household and population estimates to TV households and persons therein. The 2016 TV penetration for U.S. households was estimated based on data collected during the recruitment of homes for Nielsen’s People Meter panel. Nielsen’s national definition of a TV household states that homes must have at least one operable TV/monitor with the ability to deliver video via traditional means of antennae, cable set-top-box or satellite receiver and/or with a broadband connection.