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TVB: U.S. ADS subs higher than ever

Thu, 08/14/2008 - 8:05am
Traci Patterson

More U.S. households are receiving video service from an alternate delivery system (ADS) than ever before, according to a Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) analysis of Nielsen Media Research data for July 2008.

Additionally, wired cable’s penetration percentage hit an 18-year low in July. The national wired-cable penetration of TV households fell from 61.1 percent to 60.9 percent – the last time wired cable was lower was in February 1990.

According to Nielsen NTI data, national ADS penetration reached 28.4 percent of TV households in July, marking an all-time high, and ADS now accounts for 32.1 percent of subscription TV customers (those paying for video delivery) – another all-time high.

Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) delivery, the largest component of ADS, is now estimated at 28.2 percent, up from 27 percent in July 2007, TVB said.

“Advertisers who buy cable locally need to know that local wired cable systems’ ability to deliver commercials continues to erode,” said Susan Cuccinello, senior vice president of research for TVB. “In 19 markets, a majority of those paying for video programming are now getting that programming via ADS rather than from a wired-cable system. And 59 markets now have ADS penetration of 40 percent or more. Local cable commercials are not seen in ADS homes, and so local advertisers need to deduct the ADS percentage of the audience if they are included in the cable systems’ submissions.”

In November 2003, Nielsen Media Research began making available hard-wired local cable numbers and excluding ADS homes via its Total Viewing Sources DVD, according to TVB. Since some third-party processors are still adjusting their software products to use the new DVD and the printed Nielsen books do not break out the numbers separately, TVB said that advertisers will need to make ADS deductions manually for some time.

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