Pay TV

The percentage of TV households that have a live pay-TV service (via cable, satellite, Telco, or Internet-delivered vMVPD) continues to decline, according to new research from the Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG). The most recent figure (66%) is down from 79% in 2017, 88% in 2012, and 85% in 2007.

According to the LRG research, just under one-third (31%) of non-subscribers last had a pay-TV service within the past three years, while 35% last had a pay-TV service over three years ago, and 34% never had a pay-TV service. 

Younger consumers are the most likely to have never had a pay-TV service. More than half (52%) of those age 18-34 never used a service.

Households with Pay-TV

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of adults age 45+ have a pay-TV service – compared to 57% of those age 18-44
  • Forty-six percent of those who moved in the past year do not currently have a pay-TV service – a higher level than in previous years
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of households with three or more TVs have a pay-TV service – compared to 65% with two TVs, and 52% with one TV
  • Thirteen percent of pay-TV subscribers are likely to switch from their provider in the next six months – compared to 14% in 2020, and 13% in 2017

“Two-thirds of U.S. TV households now get a live pay-TV service, a significant decrease from 79% five years ago,” said Bruce Leichtman, LRG president and principal analyst, in a prepared statement. “The decline in pay-TV subscribers is not solely a function of those disconnecting services, but is also related to a slowdown in those entering or reentering the category.  Overall, about 10.5% of TV households last subscribed to a pay-TV service in the past three years, 12% last subscribed over three years ago, and 11.5% never subscribed.”

Seeing the continuing shift in consumer behavior with video, traditional video solution providers cable and broadband industry cooperative NCTC and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) have embraced streaming TV services through recent partnerships with MyBundleTV.

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