Connecticut Losing TV Viewers

We received some unsettling news from Nielsen, the folks who conduct ratings for the television stations.      The Hartford/New Haven market remains the 30th biggest television market in the country, but we lost nearly 10,000 TV homes, or households…in one year!     For the 2011-12 season Nielsen listed 1,006,280 households, and 996,550 for the 2012-13 season.   Yikes!

We were not alone in the northeast.  # 7 Boston, #1 New York,  #53 Providence,  # 113 Springfield, # 80 Portland,  and # 95 Burlington, VT also suffered losses.     New York lost 3,000 households, and you don’t have to be a mathematician to see that our loss was far worse.

So who gained?  Plenty of places, including  #2 Los Angeles (gained 50,000 homes,)  #9 Atlanta, # 10 Houston,  #71 Honolulu, even #11 Detroit.     Markets 12-17 all grew:  Seattle, Phoenix, Tampa, Minneapolis, Miami and Denver.   My old market of Grand Rapids, Michigan jumped from 42 to 39, even though it lost households.

Why the big drop?  Our ratings guru Rob Luciano says part of the plunge can be blamed on people switching from television to the internet.

On a depressing note, Denise D’Ascenzo told me when she was first hired at WFSB in 1986 this was market # 21.   When I got here in 1992 it had slipped to #23, and we were at #27 a few years later.   Nipping at our heels at #31 is Kansas City, Missouri.     It also lost households, so I think we might hold steady at #30 for a while.    

As you may know, the Hartford New Haven market comprises the entire state, with the exception of Fairfield County.   A strong argument could be made that part of the county should be in the Hartford market.   Danbury and Bridgeport are both closer to the capital city than midtown Manhattan.     Adding those cities would be a dramatic increase in households.

For sports fans:  we remain the biggest television market without a major league team.

13 replies »

  1. Maybe,a lot of people cannot afford TV anymore. I’m on the brink of shutting it off. Too bad we cannot use our antennas anymore. Sorry but true.


  2. Why can’t someone use an antenna I have both. Dish satellite and the apartments’ outside antenna (Good old rabbit ears still work too).

    If you have a digital antenna just hook the antenna to the terminal and scan the channels under antenna. If its an analog you just need a cheap converter to receive the digital program.

    As far as what you’ll find — in Central CT I’m in Southington I receive 28 over-the -air channels 24/7 PSSST even though WFSB never talks about it their over-the-air channels are 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 4 channels instead of one at times all different.. especially like Eyewitness News Now on 3.3..

    Dennis they should talk more about this especially 3,3.. when storms knock cable and satellite out I never lose you anymore.

    Back to my burrow…

    Southington, CT


  3. From the Beloit College’s Mindset List for Class of 2016 –
    > 68. They watch television everywhere but on a television.


  4. What’s not clear is are the numbers down to a loss in population, or because people just aren’t tuned in? How exactly is “loss of households” to be interpreted?

    Sorry, but network TV is a vapid entertainment wasteland in general. The only thing I watch is the morning news & weather on WFSB. Truth be known, I probably spend more time watching YouTube videos than any of the drivel being offered by the big 3 (4 if you include Fox) networks.


  5. We got rid of cable about 6 months ago and now just have an antenna for local channels and use Netflix through our Xbox. Saves us $70 a month. I don’t know if Nielsen measures folks who watch via antenna or internet. I watched most of the Republican convention via c-span online and I plan to do the same for the Democratic Convention.


  6. the real station with good news are the big market like new york and boston. the hartford market is bush league and if cable would let these station in my market i block all hartford stations


  7. Two words: “Who cares?”

    Does anyone even watch TV anymore – especially the liberally-biased network ‘news’ programs – both national and local?


    • Two Words, I care. Why do you think ‘news’ programs are biased? Are you too busy watching “fair and balanced” TV that continually drives the message home?

      and how exactly is news like “X highschool has a sexting scandal” and “break ins reported in x neighborhood”?

      We’re talking about local NEWS buddy. You probably watch a channel that has nothing but opinion and idiotic talking heads, but pretends to be a “news” channel.


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