64% of U.S. TV households have a live pay-TV service

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023 
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64% of TV Households Have a Live Pay-TV Service

  • Pay-TV Penetration Continues to Vary Across Age Groups

DURHAM, NH — New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) finds that 64% 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 78% in 2018, 86% in 2013, and 87% in 2008.

Reflecting this decline, in TV households 70% of adults ages 45+ and 56% of ages 18-44 have a pay-TV service. Comparatively, in 2013, 88% of adults ages 45+ and 83% of ages 18-44 had a pay-TV service.

These findings are based on a survey of 1,769 households from throughout the United States, and are part of a new LRG study, Pay-TV in the U.S. 2023. This is LRG’s twenty-first annual study on this topic.

Other related findings include:

  • 48% of those that moved in the past year do not currently have a pay-TV service – a higher level than in any previous year
  • 42% of renters do not have a pay-TV service – compared to 33% of homeowners
  • 33% of non-subscribers last had a pay-TV service within the past three years, 37% last had a pay-TV service over three years ago, and 30% never had a pay-TV service
  • Among those that never had a pay-TV service, 63% are ages 18-34, compared to 24% of former pay-TV subscribers
  • The mean age of traditional pay-TV subscribers is 49.3 – compared to 42.5 among non-subscribers, and 40.8 with vMVPD-only
  • Among all pay-TV subscribers, the mean reported spending per month is $112.70 – 5% higher than the mean monthly spending in 2018

“The percent of U.S. TV households with a live pay-TV service waned over the past decade, with a more precipitous decline over the past five years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “The penetration of pay-TV remains lowest among younger adults and the categories that they tend to populate, including movers and renters. Today, 56% of ages 18-44 have a pay-TV service, compared to 83% a decade ago.”

Links: Leichtman Research