Pay TV Now Infiltrates Only 75% of Households, LRG Says

Usage level is down from 84% five years ago
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The percentage of U.S. homes that subscribe to a pay TV service has dipped to 75%, down from 84% in 2014 and 87% in 2009, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

With the rate of cord-cutting reaching an all-time high of -3.8% in the third quarter, erosion of the pay TV ecosystem is hardly unexpected. But the aggregate impact is somewhat interesting, nonetheless.

Related: Cord-Cutting Will Reach -3.8% in Q3, Analyst Says

LRG noted the steadily increasing price of pay TV service: The mean subscription bill is now $109.60, an increase of 6% since 2016.

The findings come from LRG’s latest annual report, Pay TV in the U.S. 2019, which is based on a telephone survey of 1,115 households.

As expected, much of the news for cable, satellite and telco video operators is bad.

> 60% of U.S. pay TV subscribers bundle TV with other telco services, down from 67% in 2014.

> 83% of adults 45 or older subscribe to a pay TV services, compared to 64% of those ages 18-44.

> For the first time since 2010, less than half (47%) of U.S. TV sets are connected to a pay TV set-top.

> 27% of TV homes have an over-the-air antenna; the figure is 57% for non-pay TV homes.

> 54% of TV households have both pay TV and SVOD service.

“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.” 

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