Hit Record: 52% of U.S. Pay TV Subs Now Have a DVR

Just 2% of TV Households Have a TiVo: Leichtman Research

More than half of all pay TV households (52%) now have a digital video recorder -- up from 49% a year ago and roughly double over the last five years -- with higher DVR penetration among telco and satellite subscribers than cable, according to Leichtman Research Group.

The LRG survey found that 42% of cable subscribers have a DVR, compared with 63% of satellite subscribers and 71% of telco TV subscribers. Meanwhile, 4% of TV households that do not subscribe to a multichannel video service said they have a DVR.

In addition, 43% of all DVR households now have DVR on more than one TV set. Overall, about 20% of all TV households now have DVR on more than one TV set, an increase from 6% five years ago.

According to LRG’s survey, just 2% of all TV households have a TiVo DVR, which is consistent with TiVo’s market share in recent years. The survey did not cover other manufacturers, but Cisco Systems and Google’s Motorola Solutions are the dominant providers of DVRs to service providers in the U.S.

Multi-DVR customers are more satisfied than single-DVR owners, according to LRG: 81% with DVRs on more than one TV set rate the service 8-10 (on a 1-10 scale with 10 being excellent) versus 73% with DVR on one TV set.

LRG’s “On-Demand TV 2012” study, based on a survey conducted in September, also covered video-on-demand and Netflix subscription trends.

More than half of Netflix subscribers (51%) with pay TV service also subscribe to a premium service such as HBO, Showtime or Starz, LRG found. That’s up from 43% last year and 40% in 2010. At the same time, the survey showed a decrease in those who would consider dropping a premium service because of Netflix (20% this year vs. 36% last year, and 32% in 2010).

About 70% of all digital cable subscribers have used VOD, compared with 58% in 2007. Overall, 59% of digital cable subscribers and 64% of telco TV subscribers used VOD in the past month, according to LRG. Of VOD users who also have a DVR, 68% agree that their TV service is better because they have both VOD and DVR.

LRG’s “On-Demand TV 2012” study is based on a telephone survey conducted in September 2012 of 1,304 adults 18 and older in TV homes in the continental U.S. The study has a statistical margin of error of 2.7%.