U.S. pay TV household penetration down to 75%

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 
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75% of TV Households Subscribe to a Pay-TV Service

  • Consumer Spending on Pay-TV is Leveling off

DURHAM, NH — New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) finds that 75% of TV households nationwide subscribe to some form of live pay-TV service. The percentage of TV households that subscribe to a live pay-TV (cable, satellite, Telco, or Internet-delivered) service is down from 84% in 2014, 87% in 2009, and 81% in 2004.

Mean reported spending on pay-TV service among subscribers is $109.60 per month, an increase of about 6% since 2016. Including non-subscribers, mean spending on pay-TV across all households is about $80 per month, a figure that is slightly lower than the per household spending in 2015.

These findings are based on a telephone survey of 1,115 households from throughout the United States, and are part of a new LRG study, Pay-TV in the U.S. 2019. This is LRG’s seventeenth annual study of this topic.

Other related findings include:

  • 60% of pay-TV subscribers have a bundle of services from a provider – compared to 67% in 2014
  • 83% of adults ages 45+ have a pay-TV service – compared to 64% of ages 18-44
  • 87% of households with three or more TVs have a pay-TV service – compared to 75% with two TVs, and 52% with one TV
  • 47% of all TV sets in use have a pay-TV providers’ set-top box – marking the first year since 2010 that set-tops have been connected to less than half of all TVs
  • 27% of TV households have an over-the-air TV antenna – including 53% among pay-TV non-subscribers
  • 54% of TV households have both a pay-TV service and an SVOD service, 21% only have a pay-TV service, 20% only have an SVOD service, and about 5% have neither pay-TV nor SVOD

“Three-quarters of households that use a TV currently subscribe to a pay-TV service. This is similar to the total receiving an SVOD service,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “With more options for watching live and on-Demand video, consumers are increasingly choosing to cobble together the services that meet the viewing and economic needs of their household.”

Links: Leichtman Research