Percentage of US TV households with live pay-TV continues to fall | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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A study from the Leichtman Research Group has found that 71% of TV households across the US have some form of live pay-TV service via cable, satellite, telco or online vMVPD, as much as an eleven percentage point fall on the figure in 2016.
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These findings are based on a survey of 2,000 households from throughout the United States, and are part of a new LRG study, Pay-TV in the US 2021, LRG’s nineteenth annual study on this topic.
Further highlighting this decline, the study also found that in TV households, 64% of adults aged 18-44 and 77% aged 45+ have a pay-TV service. Comparatively, in 2016, 77% of adults aged 18-44 and 86% of aged 45+ had a pay-TV service.

Just over two-fifths of those that moved in the past year do not currently have a pay-TV service – a higher level than in previous years, while just over a third of renters do not have a pay-TV service. This compares with 25% of homeowners.

It also found that 30% of pay-TV non-subscribers last had a pay-TV service within the past 3 years, 36% last had a pay-TV service more than three years ago, and 34% never had a pay-TV service. Just over half of pay-TV non-subscribers that never had a service are ages 18-34 – while 28% of non-subscribers that formerly had pay-TV were in that age range. In a clear point showing the shift in the industry, 37% of all TV sets in use half a traditional pay-TV providers’ set-top box. This was 58% in 2016.

“The percent of US TV households with a live pay-TV service significantly declined from 82% to 71% over the past five years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. “The penetration of pay-TV remains lowest among younger adults and the categories that they tend to populate, including movers and renters.”