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Less than 80% of TV homes in US now take pay TV

Bruce Leichtman

Bruce Leichtman

Approximately 79% of TV households in the US subscribe to some form of pay TV service – down from 88% in 2010 and 84% in 2014, according to new research.

The Leichtman Research Group (LRG) study claims that among TV households that don’t currently subscribe to a pay TV service, about two-thirds were former pay TV subscribers, while one-third never had pay TV.

The ‘Pay TV in the US 2017’ report said that 30% of those who had moved house in the past year do not currently subscribe to a pay TV service – a higher level than in previous years.

However it added that 10% of non-subscribers plan to subscribe to a pay TV service in the next six months, and that the monthly spend on pay TV services among subscribers was also up 3% year-on-year to a mean of roughly US$106.

“About 79% of households that use a TV currently subscribe to a pay TV service. This is down from the peak in pay TV penetration at the start of the decade, and represents the first time since the early 2000s that fewer than four-in-five TV households get a pay TV service,” said LRG president and principal analyst, Bruce Leichtman.

“The decline in pay TV penetration is not solely a function of recent disconnects. Among those that do not currently get a pay TV service, about one-third subscribed in the past three years, one-third subscribed over three years ago, and one-third never subscribed.”