The percentage of TV households that still subscribe to some form of pay-TV (cable, satellite, telco, or internet delivered) has declined to 75% nationwide from 87% in 2009, according to a new study published this week by the Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

For the pleasure of receiving live TV content, the mean spending on pay-TV service among subscribers is now $109.60 per month, an increase of about 6% since 2016, the report said. Including non-subscribers, LRG said mean spending on pay-TV across all households is about $80 per month, which is slightly less the per household average spending in 2015.

The Leichtman study said the percentage of live pay-TV subscribing households was 81% in 2004, 87% in 2009, and 84% in 2014. The findings are documented in the LRG study “Pay-TV In The U.S. 2019” — the group’s 17th annual report on the topic.

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Other findings in the report include the following:

  • 60% of pay-TV subscribers have a bundle of services from a provider – compared to 67% in 2014
  • 83% of adults ages 45+ have a pay-TV service – compared to 64% of ages 18-44
  • 87% of households with three or more TVs have a pay-TV service – compared to 75% with two TVs, and 52% with one TV
  • 47% of all TV sets in use have a pay-TV providers’ set-top box – marking the first year since 2010 that set-tops have been connected to less than half of all TVs
  • 27% of TV households have an over-the-air TV antenna – including 53% among pay-TV non-subscribers
  • 54% of TV households have both a pay-TV service and an SVOD service, 21% only have a pay-TV service, 20% only have an SVOD service, and about 5% have neither pay-TV nor SVOD

“Three-quarters of households that use a TV currently subscribe to a pay-TV service. This is similar to the total receiving an SVOD service,” stated Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “With more options for watching live and on-Demand video, consumers are increasingly choosing to cobble together the services that meet the viewing and economic needs of their household.”

By Greg Tarr

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