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Fading Away: A Third Of Non-Subscribers Have Never Even Had Pay TV

It's no longer an issue of 'cord-cutting.' The consumer habit of getting packages of TV channels through telecom companies is simply going bye-bye

(Image credit: FreePik)

Yes, the latest report from Leichtman Research Group, “Pay-TV in the U.S. 2022,” suggests fewer consumers are using linear pay TV services.

The U.S. base is down to 66% of TV households, LRG said, vs. 79% five years ago … and 88% a decade ago.

What we find interesting is the number of consumers, mostly younger adult ones, who have never had pay TV service … and who likely never will. That’s 34% of non-subscribers. Among that group who’ve never subscribed, 52% are between the ages of 18-34.

Further, while 73% of adults 45 and older have pay TV, only 57% of folks between the ages of 18-44 do.

Among the total base of U.S. TV households, 11.5% of homes have never had pay TV service.

So as U.S. society ages, folks aren’t so much cutting the cord anymore en masse as they are losing consciousness of its very existence. That is how consumer habits die.

“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 reentering the category,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said. “Overall, about 10.5% of TV households last subscribed to a pay-TV service in the past three years, 12% last subscribed over three years ago, and 11.5% never subscribed.”

This article originally appeared on

About the Author
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!

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