The U.S. broadcast television market has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, according to Nielsen ratings.
The Nielsen data firm, based in Washington, D.C., released its annual TV numbers Thursday morning.
The network ratings dropped by a whopping 12% year-over-year, the company said.
The decline is attributed to an ongoing decline in viewers in the U.K., Canada and Mexico.
The U and the U+B markets account for roughly one-third of the U&B market.
The decline is not necessarily a direct result of the 2016 election, said Michael Nathanson, chief economist at MoffettNathanson & Fisher.
It’s a result of an increasingly complex mix of programs and technology, he said.
More:What you need to know about the UBS merger and the 2016 presidential election.
The 2017 season is shaping up to be a banner year for TV.
In its first season in 2019, CBS and ESPN are expected to have the biggest TV audience, according the Nielsen company.
That’s up from the 2016 season, which had the second-largest TV audience.
The network numbers also show a decline in the number of people in households with at least one Internet connection, up from 17.2% in 2017 to 17.1% in 2019.