02_Elements/Icons/ArrowLeft Back to Insight
Insights > Media

Nielsen Estimates 121 Million TV Homes in the U.S. for the 2020-2021 TV Season

2 minute read | August 2020

According to Nielsen National Television Household Universe Estimates, there are 121 million TV homes in the U.S. for the 2020-21 TV season.

The number of persons age 2 and older in U.S. TV Households is estimated to be 307.9 million, which represents a 0.2% increase from last year. Increases in U.S. Hispanic (+1.9%), Black (+0.9%) and Asian (+2.7%) TV households were also seen, due to estimated increases in population growth.

Nielsen uses the U.S. Census Bureau, combined with information from its national TV panel, to arrive at Advance TV Universe Estimates in early May. It then distributes final Universe Estimates before the start of each TV season. 

The 2021 National Universe Estimates reflect real changes in population since last year and 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 over-the-air antenna, cable, DBS, Telco or via a broadband internet connection connected to a TV set is currently at 96.2%. That’s an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the 96.1% estimated last year for 2020.

Nielsen applies TV penetrations to convert the total household and population estimates to TV households and persons therein. The 2021 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 is a home with at least one operable TV set that is able to receive audio and video through a cable, satellite or over-the-air source, or through streaming video from an internet source.

Continue browsing similar insights

Our products can help you and your business

  • Consumer & Media View

    Access syndicated and custom consumer research that will help you shape successful brand, advertising and marketing…

  • NCSolutions

    Maximize CPG advertising effectiveness with data to better segment, optimize and enable sales-based outcomes.