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June 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

In what analysts regarded as mostly a reflection of the overall dormant economy and consumers’ desire to cut costs rather than an exodus to online content, a survey by research firm GfK Media on Monday revealed that the number of homes that only receive TV reception over the air increased from 15 percent in 2011 to 17.8 percent this year. Stated another way: some 20.7 million homes or 53.8 million people are not connected to cable or satellite services for television reception. The study also found that 16 percent of households downgraded their level of cable or satellite service this year. The growing number of cord cutters will hit broadcast and cable-TV nets who receive carriage fees from cable companies based on the number of viewers who watch them. In an interview with the New York Post, GfK senior vice president David Tice commented, “I haven’t bought into the cord-cutting thing, but this was the first year we really saw a significant increase in the numbers of broadcast-only households.” In the GfK report, Tice wrote, “Does online or streaming video play a role? Certainly, there is no denying that it plays an important part. But is it the primary driver of people moving back to broadcast-only reception? Our data doesn’t strongly point to that conclusion.”