Pay TV Universe Shrinks to 79% of U.S. Households

Down from 84% in 2014, 88% in 2010, Leichtman Research Group says

Reflecting the subscriber erosion that’s affecting many TV service providers, about 79% of TV homes nationwide subscribe to some form of a pay TV service, down from 84% in 2014, 88% in 2010, and 81% in 2004, according to a new study from Leichtman Research Group.

“This is down from the peak in pay-TV penetration at the start of the decade, and represents the first time since the early 2000s that fewer than four-in-five TV households get a pay-TV service,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG, said in a statement. He said the drop in pay TV penetration is not solely a function of recent disconnects, noting that among those without a pay TV service today, about one-third of that group subscribed to a pay TV service in the past three years, and one-third subscribed over three years ago.

LRG,  in a survey of 1,201 U.S. homes for its Pay-TV in the U.S. 2017 study, said that among TV households that do not currently take a pay-TV service, about two-thirds were former pay TV subscribers, while one-third never had pay TV.

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