Broadcasters strategize on tapping into “Zero TV” market

Broadcasters are urging smartphone users to buy antennae. As the number of households with no TV rises, broadcasters are losing revenue.




The National Association of Broadcasters met in Las Vegas through April 11 at a conference known as the NAB Show— and on the agenda was a discussion on tapping into the growing “zero tv crowd”— households that do not have cable or satellite television.

“Zero TV Crowd” was a label created by The Nielsen Company for a report. The number of “Zero TV” households has grown to 5 million from 2 million since 2007. People in the category tend to consume media through mobile devices and computers— they also tend to be younger, single and have no children.

      In 2012, the cable, satellite and telecoms providers added only 46,000 video customers combined. Industry analyst don’t believe traditional television will ever make a comeback.


Broadcasters on Apr. 11 launched a push for smartphone users to watch their programming with a dongle that catches TV signals like an antenna. Starting at $83, the devices recommended by the broadcaster coalition called Dyle Mobile TV are comparable to a year’s subscription to Aereo, at $96.

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              Chase Carey, COO of News Corp., told broadcasters at the conference that Fox may move to pay-TV services if courts allow Aereo to retransmit Fox content online.


“Getting broadcast programming on all the gizmos and gadgets — like tablets, the back seats of cars, and laptops — is hugely important.”              Dennis Wharton, spokesperson for the National Association of Broadcasters

Broadcasters traditionally made money only when their programming was viewed on a TV set. The industry is trying to adapt to new circumstances.

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