25 things Vanishing in America, part 2: Homes without cable

About 12.5 million U.S. households report not spending the average $55 per month required to have cable or satellite TV delivered to their television sets, according to information provided by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

Nielsen
breaks down how many people watch television over the air by race: white, 10 percent; African-American, 15 percent; Hispanic, 17 percent; Asian, 13 percent.

In other words, not very many people limit their viewing to over-the-air TV. Nielsen says some of the non-cable population live in remote places and some – mostly women – just aren't interested in TV.

All of this has been under scrutiny lately because Congress and the Federal Communication Commission have been pressuring the television industry to give up analog spectrum and convert to digital transmission, so the more versatile analog spectrum can be sold to other users for huge bucks. Converting to digital makes all the users who depend solely on rabbit ears on top of an old analog TV unable to receive the signal. Originally, the deadline for conversion was in February, but in light of the economic situation, the FCC delayed the final deadline for the DTV transition to June 12.