66% of U.S. TV households have a live pay-TV service

Friday, October 21st, 2022 
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66% of TV Households Have a Live Pay-TV Service

  • About One-Third of Non-Subscribers Never had a Pay-TV Service

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

Non-subscribers to pay-TV services break into three similar-sized groups based on their prior pay-TV subscription. 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.

These findings are based on a survey of 1,850 households from throughout the United States, and are part of a new LRG study, Pay-TV in the U.S. 2022. This is LRG’s twentieth annual study on this topic.

Other related findings include:

  • 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

“Two-thirds of U.S. TV households now get a live pay-TV service, a significant decrease from 79% five years ago,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “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.”

Links: Leichtman Research