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No Surprise: New Nielsen Report Shows Young Americans Not Paying for Cable

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 4, 2013 at 1:21PM

Check out this Nielsen chart from Business Insider, which hammers home an increasingly present trend: young Americans aren't paying for traditional TV. According to the Nielsen Report, US households with "Zero-TV" (defined below) are now counting five million, a three million increase since 2007.
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"Mad Men"
"Mad Men"

Check out this Nielsen chart from Business Insider, which hammers home an increasingly present trend: young Americans aren't paying for traditional TV. According to the Nielsen Report, US households with "Zero-TV" (defined below) are now counting five million, a three million increase since 2007.

Nielsen's term, "Zero-TV," covers households that receive the majority of their television programming from devices other than a TV set, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. (It doesn't, however, imply that the home has no TV set.)

As the chart shows, close to half of the "Zero-TV" households are young -- under age 35. This makes perfect sense, what with the expensive prices of cable packages and the relative affordability of streaming episodes of choice on sites like Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, iTunes, Netflix and more. And let's not forget about HBO GO password sharing -- something cabler HBO is considering addressing with the possible addition of GO services to internet packages.

Neilsen "Zero TV" chart


This article is related to: Television, TV News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.