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Expand chart
Data: National sample from NPOWER Household, reproduced from a Nielsen chart; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of U.S. households receiving television signals through an over-the-air antenna has nearly doubled in the past eight years, according to a recent report from Nielsen. Nearly 14% of U.S. households use bunny ears to access broadcast TV.

Why it matters: More people are opting for antennas to access free broadcast channels as the cost of cable subscriptions continues to balloon.

Data from Nielsen suggests that growing population of antenna users is divided amongst older users, who use the signal mostly to watch broadcast television, and younger users, who use the antennas in conjunction with an internet-powered skinny bundle to access cable.

The big picture: At this point, the number of people using the antennas without a digital service is much bigger, but the group of users who are using it alongside a "skinny bundle" (a cheaper package of live cable channels), is growing. That group is much more relevant to advertisers because they tend to be younger and have higher household incomes.

  • "It's a great consumer to find," says Justin LaPorte, VP of local audience insights at Nielsen. He presented these insights last week at the National Association of Television Program Executives annual meeting in Miami.
  • "Their profile is really sexy to advertisers. Not only are they watching more traditional TV and spend more TV time, they're higher income, they're families, and are within that core 25–54 year-old audience that advertisers having a hard time finding," LaPorte said.

Go deeper ... Coming to a TV near you: personalized ads

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DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

46 mins ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.