Survey: TV Households Subscribing to Pay-TV Declines Further

About 75% of TV households in the United States subscribe to pay-TV service (cable, satellite, telecom or online TV). That’s down from 84% five years ago, according to new data from Leichtman Research Group.

Spending on pay-TV services 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 domestic households and part of LRG’s seventeenth annual study of pay-TV.

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Other findings include 60% of pay-TV subs have a bundle of services from a provider, compared to 67% in 2014; 83% of adults ages 4-plus 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.

The report found 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.

Another 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,” Bruce Leichtman, principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said in a statement. “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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