10 TV Viewership Statistics to Watch Out For in 2024

Television always had something interesting to offer worldwide audiences, whether news, variety shows, or romantic series.

Around 59% of Boomers spend over ten hours weekly watching TV. The same is true for 26% of Millennials and 17% of Gen Zs.

No one can blame them. Shows like Full House, Friends, and Grey’s Anatomy made TV viewing great. Aside from dramas and sitcoms, TVs broadcast current news and sporting events.

Let’s examine fascinating TV viewership statistics and trends for 2023 and understand why TV is currently the US’ favorite past-time.

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Highlights of the Article

  • From 2023-2023, Cable and Broadcast TV industry will have a 3% annual growth rate.
  • Traditional TV revenue saw a 7.4% decline in the US in 2021.
  • The streaming global market was valued at $89.03 billion in 2022
  • Cable TV viewership is down by 5% for 65-plus US adults in 2015-2021.
  • 34% of ages 18 to 34 in the US are cable subscribers.
  • China’s pay-TV subscribers will increase by 19.7 million by 2027.
  • The annual income of cable TV in houses is 11% higher than non-subscribers.
  • More ad-supported platforms will arrive in the streaming industry in the future.

TV Viewership Statistics Overview

tv viewership statistics

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other OTT platforms are making traditional TV obsolete. Many people still have pay TV, but numbers are decreasing.

2022 saw streaming overtake cable tv for the first time by 0.4%.

While streaming platforms and FAST services start to grow, TV networks are beginning to adapt.

How many TV sets still have cable or satellite? How many are connected to a streaming service? What’s next for them?

Let’s analyze the statistics and trends to find out.

TV Viewership Market Size

Traditional TV was the primary source of entertainment in the US. It is now handing the reins over to streaming platforms. Streaming viewers outnumbered cable TV watchers for the first time in July 2022.   

It’s not to say that linear TV is out. People who follow live sports are still better off with it. Streaming platforms that offer the NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL are limited — for now.

How big is TV’s slice of the total viewing time? These broadcast and cable TV viewership statistics will tell you.

1. The broadcast and cable TV global market will have a 3% annual growth rate from 2023 to 2030.

(Global Market Insights)

In 2022, the global broadcast and cable TV market was valued at $300 billion. It will continue to grow by 3% annually until 2030.

The Asia Pacific region saw the biggest growth in 2022. The Chinese market’s younger viewers will continue to influence the revenue in the coming years.

Advertisers will continue capitalizing. Over-the-air ads have generated almost $2 trillion annually in the past few years.

2. In 2021, traditional TV revenue in the US saw a 7.4% decline.

(Streaming Media)

The US traditional TV sector made $89.4 billion in 2020 but declined to $6.6 million (down 7.4%) in 2021. The global decline was only 1.5%.

The Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa region saw a slight increase in revenue.

Cable still commands 63% of the subscription market by bundling internet access with pay TV. Although OTT and telco services are now doing the same thing.

3. The streaming global market is projected to grow by 21.5% annually until 2030.

(Grand View Research)

Industry experts estimated the global streaming market size at $89.03 billion in 2022. They expect it to grow by 21.5% annually from 2023 to 2030.

At the core of all these advantages are technologies like AI that give subscribers a personalized experience. 

Personalization is big for streaming platforms. Netflix features movie and series recommendations. Another reason why streaming became popular is that it offers better video quality.

TV Viewership Demographic Statistics

People have been cutting the cord for several years as streaming services increase in demand. Studies suggest that 34% of adults aged 18-29 subscribe to cable TV.

There’s more to explore than just age groups.

These demographic statistics will give us insight into the audiences’ viewing habits, preferences, and profiles.

4. In 2023, 50% of ages 65 and above in the US are cable subscribers.


A study was done involving 2,204 US adults. They were divided into age groups and asked about cable TV subscriptions.

  • The 18-34 group had the lowest cable TV penetration at 34%.
  • The 35-44 group was not much better at 35%.
  • Around 41% of the 45-64 group currently subscribe.
  • Finally, half of the 65-plus adults said they have cable.

Statista’s numbers differ slightly from Pew’s, but they tell the same story. Cable TV holds sway among older viewers.

5. Cable TV viewership is down by 31% for ages 18 to 29 between 2015 and 2021.

(Pew Research Center)

Cable TV viewership is down among all US adults. From 76% in 2015, it was at 56% in 2021. 

The decline varied significantly between age groups.

  • For viewers 65 and above, the drop was only 5%, from 86% to 81%.
  • For 18 to 29, cable TV viewership plummeted from 65% to 34%
  • The 30-49 age group declined from 73% to 46%.
  • Lastly, the 50-64 age group had a 14% viewership decline, from 80% to 66%.

One thing is clear based on these numbers: cable TV is aging along with its viewers.

6. China had 325.3 million pay TV subscribers in 2021.

(Statista, Statista, GlobalData) 

In 2021, there were 325.3 billion pay TV subscriptions in China. It was the highest in the Asia Pacific. There were 474 million Chinese households that year.

Experts believe there will be 345 million subscriptions in China in 2027 and 649 million in Asia. Aside from China, India and Korea will have the highest cable TV subscriptions.

The Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa regions give cable providers some hope as people have yet to embrace internet-based platforms.

7. The mean annual income of cable TV households is 11% higher than non-subscribers.

(Leichtman Research Group, Statista)

66% of US households subscribe to pay TV services. Subscriptions were down from 79% in 2017.

The average household income of pay TV subscribers was 11% higher than that of non-subscribers.

Statista shows that 31.02% of the respondents feel cable is too expensive. 8.03% don’t watch enough cable TV to justify its cost. Only 6.53% were dissatisfied with the service.

The results imply that cost is a significant consideration for cord-cutting. 

TV Viewership Trends Statistics

Trends and consumer behavior go hand-in-hand in the TV industry.

Changes in viewing habits encourage providers to innovate, and when a new product changes the game, consumers respond accordingly.

These viewership trends shall shape the cable industry in the coming years.

8. Broadcast TV will shift to an OTT delivery system.


In 2021, experts forecasted that the average TV viewing time of 197 minutes would decrease to 171 minutes in 2023 and that broadcast TV might be affected the most.

Broadcasting networks might shift to OTT news content. Creating a combination of standard webcasts and pre-produced videos might help them engage new viewers. 

9. The streaming industry will add more ad-supported platforms in the next few years.

(Netflix, eMarketer)

Netflix and Disney+ launched ad-supported plans in 2022. The move allowed them to be more flexible in their pricing scheme.

Studies have forecasted the following subscription numbers:

  • 2022 had a baseline of 11.9 million subscribers
  • Numbers will increase to 13.3 million in 2023
  • Another 8.9 million will be added in 2024

10. Advertisers will shift from linear TV to streaming.

(Forbes, Fortune)

In 2022, streaming platforms adopted ad-tier services.

Disney+ reported a low 2.1 million net new subscribers worldwide. Platforms such as NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia also reported low growth for their subscription-based media.

One of the biggest draws of streaming was uninterrupted viewing. Streaming platforms must find new ways to support creators and productions as subscriber growth decreases.

Advertisers are expected to jump on the streaming bandwagon. Streamers will cash in. Netflix, for instance, stands to make several billions of dollars more in the next five to ten years.

The Windup

Traditional TV was poised to withstand the test of time. Streaming services had other plans. It exposed some of cable TV’s fundamental flaws: high costs, unused channels, and lack of freedom to choose. 

Cable TV continues to hang on, thanks to live sports and underdeveloped digital markets. However, these viewership statistics say that the industry is running on fumes.


How are TV viewerships measured?

TV views are estimated via ratings point (TVR). TVR is a measure of viewership of a particular TV program. One TVR point is 1% of TV households in the surveyed area in a given minute.

Why is TV viewership important?

TV viewership provides insights into consumer behavior. Advertisers, networks, and other stakeholders use this information to make better content and improve services.

How do networks know who watches cable TV?

Companies like Nielsen use in-house technology that helps them track the viewing patterns of thousands of people. They pass this information on to the networks.