According to Nielsen’s National Television Household Universe Estimates, there are 116.4 million TV homes in the U.S. prior to the start of the 2014-15 TV season. The number of homes represents an 0.5% increase from Nielsen’s 2013-14 TV Household Universe Estimate. The number of persons age 2 and older in U.S. TV Households is estimated to be 296 million—also an increase of 0.5% percent from last year.
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 2015 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, over the past several months, 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 has been stable, hovering between 96% and 96.1%.
Nielsen applies TV penetrations to convert the total household and population estimates to TV households and persons therein. The 2015 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.