More Americans are receiving subscription TV services from satellite and other alternative delivery systems than ever before. According to a Television Bureau of Advertising analysis of Nielsen data, ADS penetration reached an all-time high of 29.3 percent last month and now represents 32.5 percent of all subscription TV customers.
Direct broadcast satellite, the largest component of ADS, continues to grow, and is now at 29 percent, up from 28.4 percent in Nov. 2008.
Cable penetration dropped slightly, from 68.8 percent to 68.4 percent.
Among the top 50 markets, Albuquerque-Santa Fe has the largest ADS penetration. More than half or 52 percent of subscription TV households rely on ADS representing 42.7 percent of all TV households in the market.
For advertisers that buy local cable, the numbers are significant, since alternative delivery systems cannot deliver local commercials. "In 29 markets, a majority of those paying for video programming are now getting that programming via ADS rather than from a wired-cable system," noted Susan Cuccinello, senior vp of research for TVB.