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U.S. Pay-TV Households Still Top 70%

Who said pay-TV is dead?

New data from Leichtman Research Group suggests 71% of domestic TV households nationwide have some form of pay-TV service. The percentage homes with either cable, satellite, telecom, or online TV is down from 82% in 2016, 87% in 2011, and 86% in 2006.

Not surprisingly, pay-TV household penetration rises with age.

About 64% of adults ages 18-44 have some form of pay-TV service, while 77% of ages 45+ have service, according to a survey of 2,000 households. By comparison, 77% of the younger demo had service in 2016, in addition to 86% of the older demo.

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Other survey results include that 41% of those that moved in the past year do not currently have a pay-TV service — a higher level than in previous years. Another 35% of renters do not have a pay-TV service — compared to 25% of homeowners.

About 30% of non pay-TV subscribers last had service within the past three years; 36% had service more than three years ago, and 34% never had service.

Leichtman found that 26% of adult respondents approved using a friend’s log-in passwords to watch live TV, including 40% of among younger respondents. Another 37% of all TV sets in use have a traditional pay-TV providers’ set-top box — compared to 58% in 2016.

“The percent of U.S. TV households with a live pay-TV service [has] significantly,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “The penetration of pay-TV remains lowest among younger adults and the categories that they tend to populate, including movers and renters.”

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