Pay TV: Sub Numbers to Grow, Penetration to Drop

March 17, 2014
According to Digital TV Research, the number of pay TV subscribers in North America is forecast t...

According to Digital TV Research, the number of pay TV subscribers in North America is forecast to continue to increase, despite a small decline in 2013. The research house estimates that nearly 5 million more subscribers will be added between 2013 and 2020. However, pay TV penetration is expected to drop from 87.0% in 2010 to 83.8% by 2020.

Most of the pay TV subscriber losses over the last few years have been analog cable subs. There were still 18.39 million analog cable subscribers by end-2010, a number that is expected to fall to 3.75 million by end-2014.

There are expected to be 60.4 million cable homes (all digital) by 2020, down from 62.4 million in 2013 (of which 7.6 million were analog) and 68.2 million in 2010 (18.4 million analog). Cable penetration is expected to be 43.4% by 2020, down from 48.1% at end-2013 and 53.1% in 2010.