The number of television subscribers in the United States and Canada is forecast to fall from 84.9 million in 2021 to 73.5 million in 2026. That means the proportion of homes paying for traditional television will have fallen from over 90% in 2010 to 53% in 2026. The largest losses are apparently in the past. Revenues from online video services are meanwhile forecast to increase from $59.6 billion to $93.7 billion.

The number of television subscribers in North America fell by nearly 27 million or almost 23% between 2010 and 2020. While the number of telco television subscribers grew by nearly 4 million or over 50%, the number of satellite subscribers fell by nearly 35% and the number of cable television customers declined by almost 23% over that period.

From 2020 to 2021, the number of television subscribers in the United States and Canada is forecast to fall by a further 5% or 4.6 million, with satellite subscribers expected to decline by nearly 10%.

“The worst of the cord-cutting is over,” said Simon Murray of Digital TV Research. Between 2021 and 2026, he predicts that the number of television subscribers in these markets will fall by another 13% or 11.4 million to 73.5 million. Cable television subscribers are expected to decline by nearly 7%, but the number with satellite or telco television services is forecast to fall by about 25%.

North America television subscriptions 2021-2026. Source: Digital TV Research

Television subscription revenues peaked at $111 billion in 2015 but are forecast to fall to $62 billion in 2026.

Meanwhile, between 2021 and 2026, annual online video revenues in North America are forecast to increase by $34 billion or 57% to 93.7 billion. While online video subscriptions are predicted to increase by 35% to $54.4 billion, revenue from advertiser supported services is expected to increase by 139% over five years to $32.6 billion.

While there has been a dramatic decline in traditional television subscriptions North America, over half the homes in the country are still expected to be paying for a television service in five years. The market will still be worth $62 billion, which is more than the expected value of the entire subscription video market in North America. However, Netflix alone is forecast to have worldwide subscription revenues of nearly $40 billion by then. Netflix is not a substitute for television, but it is clearly a competitor.

North America Pay TV Forecasts and North America OTT TV and Video Forecasts are available from Digital TV Research.