Live pay-TV service plunge continues in U.S. homes: Report

Oct. 24, 2022
LRG's latest study finds that TV households with a live Pay-TV service have fallen to 66%, and that about one-third of non-subscribers never had a Pay-TV service.

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG - Durham, N.H.) finds that 66% of TV households nationwide have some form of pay-TV service.

The research concludes the percentage of TV households that have a live pay-TV service -- via cable, satellite, telco, or Internet-delivered vMVPD -- is down from 79% in 2017, 88% in 2012, and 85% in 2007.

Bruce Leichtman, LRG president and principal analyst, explained:

“Two-thirds of U.S. TV households now get a live pay-TV service, a significant decrease from 79% five years ago. 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.”

The new analysis breaks non-subscribers to pay-TV services into three similar-sized groups based on their prior pay-TV subscription.

According to LRG, about 31% of non-subscribers last had a pay-TV service within the past three years, 35% last had a pay-TV service over three years ago, and 34% never had a pay-TV service.

Among those that never had a pay-TV service, 52% are ages 18-34, compared to 27% of former pay-TV subscribers.

The findings are based on a survey of 1,850 households from throughout the United States, and are part of the new LRG study, Pay-TV in the U.S. 2022.

Other report highlights include the following data points:

  • 73% of adults ages 45+ have a pay-TV service – compared to 57% of ages 18-44.
  • 46% of those that moved in the past year do not currently have a pay-TV service – a higher level than in previous years.
  • 73% of households with three or more TVs have a pay-TV service – compared to 65% with two TVs, and 52% with one TV.
  • The mean annual household income of pay-TV subscribers is 11% higher than the mean income of non-subscribers.
  • 13% 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.

The new report is LRG’s twentieth annual study on this topic.

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