Two-thirds of households in the United States now have pay television. That is down from 79% in 2017, 88% in 2012, and 85% in 2007. Of those that do not have a pay television service, a third have never had one, and half of them are in the 18-34 age group. While the popularity of pay television has declined, it is still predominant, particularly among older people.
The findings are from a representative survey of 1,850 households across the United States, for the twentieth annual study on pay television from Leichtman Research Group.
“Two-thirds of U.S. TV households now get a live pay-TV service, a significant decrease from 79% five years ago,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. “The decline in pay-TV subscribers is not solely a function of those disconnecting services but is also related to a slowdown in those entering or re-entering the category.”
Among those that do not have pay television, about 31% had one within the past three years, 35% had one previously, and 34% never had one.
Across all television households, about 10.5% last subscribed to a pay television service in the past three years, 12% last subscribed over three years ago, and 11.5% had never subscribed.
46% of those that moved home in the past year do not currently have a pay television service, which is a higher level than in previous years.
However, 73% of households with three of more televisions have a pay television service. The same percentage of homes with an adult aged 45 or over also have pay television, compared to 57% for those aged under 45.
The top pay television providers in the United States have about 72 million subscribers between them. Over the past years, they lost nearly 5.5 million subscribers, compared to 4.5 million the previous year.
Pay-TV in the US 2022 is published by Leichtman Research Group. The survey was conducted in September 2022, with a sample of 1,235 online and 615 television respondents, distributed and weighted to reflect the demographic and geographic composition of the United States, with an overall statistical margin of error of ± 2.3%.