Over four-fifths of US households subscribe to a pay-TV service | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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It may not quite be back to the peaks of five years ago, but the US pay-TV market is on the rise, says Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

directv satellite dish10 AUg 2016 minIn its Cable, DBS & Telcos: Competing for Customers 2016 report, the analyst calculates that 82% of US TV households currently subscribe to some form of pay-TV service, the same as in 2005 but yet not quite at the high mark of 87% in the then still pre-cord-cutting days of 2011. This did not translate into a big boost for business. The mean reported monthly spending on a pay-TV service was found to be $103.10, an increase of 4% in the past year and the lowest annual increase in five years.

In addition, the report found that among TV households that do not currently subscribe to a pay-TV service, 14% paid for a service in the past year, and that overall about 2.6% of US TV households paid to subscribe to a traditional pay-TV service in the past year, but currently do not. This compares with a rate of 2.5% in 2015, 3% in 2014, 1.5% in 2011 and 2% in 2006. About 1% of pay-TV subscribers were new to the category in the past year — compared to 1% in 2015, 1% in 2011, and about 3.5% in 2006.

Looking at historic cord-cutters, the report found that overall, about 3% of TV households last subscribed to a pay-TV service one to three years ago, about 6% subscribed over three years ago, and about 6% never subscribed to a pay-TV service. Moreover, 7% of current pay-TV subscribers did not subscribe to a TV service for more than a month at some time over the past two years. Alarmingly for the pay-TV industry, 6% of pay-TV subscribers indicated a likelihood to disconnect from their provider and not subscribe to any TV service in the next six months; this was similar to 7% in 2015, and 7% in 2014.

A quarter of those who moved in the past year do not currently subscribe to a pay-TV service, a higher level than in previous years, while an eighth of pay-TV subscribers said that they were likely to switch from their provider in the next six months. These figures were 11% in 2015, and 12% in 2014.

“About 82% of households that use a TV currently subscribe to a pay-TV service. This is down from where it was five years ago, and similar to the penetration level eleven years ago,” commented Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “The rates of those exiting the category, or intending to leave, are actually similar to recent years. The decline in penetration is also due to a lack of those who are coming into the category, and the industry not keeping pace with movers and related rental housing growth.”

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