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Boise shrinking? TV ratings company says Boise area got smaller – but not in the way you might think

Idaho Business pres. by My 102.7

Pretty much every data point lately says that the Boise area is growing at a fast clip.

But the Nielsen TV ratings company said the area actually… declined.

What gives?

Nielsen said in its latest report that the Boise demographic market area – or “DMA,” shrunk from 273,500 television homes to 261,140 television homes in just one year. That’s a decline of 4.5% from last year.

While more people are moving to the area, the number of houses that get traditional television is declining, according to Nielsen. A company spokesperson wouldn’t comment on the record. But the company notes that its estimate doesn’t include people who don’t have TV sets, or don’t have cable, satellite or antennas to pick up TV.

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[New Census report shows Boise area remains one of nation’s fastest-growing]

That means if you watch TV, but stick to Netflix, Hulu or the upcoming Disney Plus — you don’t count. Reporting says 34% of homes nationwide won’t have traditional TV by the end of 2019. So-called ‘cord cutters’ still watch TV – but do it without cable or satellite.

Boise’s ranking dropped from Nielsen’s 100th largest market to 102nd – which indicates the area is actually seeing a migration away from traditional TV faster than other cities of its size.

Nielsen defines the Boise DMA as including Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington counties in Idaho, plus Malheur county in Oregon. A Nielsen “TV home” can include multiple people.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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