U.S. Pay TV Penetration at 82%

Sept. 23, 2016
According to the Leichtman Research Group, about 82% of U.S. TV households subscribe to some form of pay TV service. The percentage of ...

According to the Leichtman Research Group, about 82% of U.S. TV households subscribe to some form of pay TV service. The percentage of TV households that subscribe to a pay TV service is down from 87% in 2011 and similar to 82% in 2005.

Among TV households that do not currently subscribe to a pay TV service, 14% paid for a service in the past year. Overall, about 2.6% of TV households paid to subscribe to a traditional pay TV service in the past year, but currently do not - compared to 2.5% in 2015, 3% in 2014, 1.5% in 2011, and 2% in 2006.

While the number of those who stopped subscribing to a service in the past year is similar to last year and to a decade ago, the study indicated that about 1% of pay TV subscribers were new to the category in the past year, compared to 1% in 2015, 1% in 2011, and about 3.5% in 2006.

The findings are based on a telephone survey of 1,206 households throughout the United States. This is LRG's 14th annual study on the topic.

Other findings indicate:

  • Overall, about 3% of TV households last subscribed to a pay TV service 1-3 years ago, about 6% subscribed more than 3 years ago, and about 6% never subscribed to a pay TV service.
  • 7% of current pay TV subscribers did not subscribe to a TV service for more than a month at some time over the past two years.
  • 25% of those who moved in the past year do not currently subscribe to a pay TV service, a higher level than in previous years.
  • 12% of pay TV subscribers surveyed said they are likely to switch from their provider in the next six months, similar to 11% in 2015 and 12% in 2014.
  • 6% of pay TV subscribers said they are likely to disconnect from their provider and not subscribe to any TV service in the next six months, similar to 7% in 2015 and 7% in 2014.
  • Mean reported monthly spending on pay TV service is $103.10, an increase of 4% in the past year (the lowest annual increase in five years).

"About 82% of households that use a TV currently subscribe to a pay TV service. This is down from where it was five years ago, and similar to the penetration level eleven years ago," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. "The rates of those exiting the category, or intending to leave, are actually similar to recent years. The decline in penetration is also due to a lack of those who are coming into the category, and the industry not keeping pace with movers and related rental housing growth."

About the Author

BTR Staff

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STEPHEN HARDY
Editorial Director and Associate Publisher
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