While it’s no secret that antenna use is on the rise in the age of cord cutting, a new survey by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) includes a surprising detail about just who is turning to this decades-old way to watch free TV. Last year, 31% of U.S. households had an antenna hooked up to at least one television, up from 28% in 2015, but among 25- to 34-year-olds, antenna adoption was even higher than average, at 45%.
Meanwhile, just 19% of homes in the 65 to 74 age demographic used an antenna last year. Income was not a factor in antenna ownership, the CTA says, suggesting that practically everyone is looking to escape cable’s inflating prices, regardless of financial status.
Antenna use is now the highest it’s been since 2005, and cable and satellite TV are in steady decline. Cable adoption was at 44% last year, versus 61% in 2008, while satellite TV has fallen from 31% in 2008 to 24% last year. Those downward trends will continue in 2019, with Charter and Comcast losing 145,000 and 107,000 TV subscribers, respectively, last quarter, and AT&T shedding 544,000 DirecTV satellite and U-Verse customers.
With Leichtman Research Group reporting an average monthly pay TV bill of $107 last year, combining free broadcast TV with cheaper streaming services makes for a pretty good alternative.