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Pay TV Still in 71% of U.S. TV Homes

Kids streaming Netflix programming
(Image credit: Netflix)

The percentage of U.S. TV homes subscribing to a pay TV service has dropped to 71%, down from 82% in 2016 and 87% in 2011, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). 

Not surprisingly, LRG's Pay TV in the U.S. 2021 report finds that pay TV consumption is somewhat generational: of the 2,000 U.S. households polled, 77% still subscribe to a linear video service, while only 64% of those ages 18-44 do. 

Also notable:

> 41% of respondents who have moved in the last year don't have pay TV, a higher percentage than in previous years, according to LRG.

> 66% of non-pay TV subscribers have cut the cord at some point, while 34% have never had service at all. 

> 54% of those who have never had service are age 18-34. 

> 37% of all TV sets use a traditional pay T set-top vs. 58% in 2016.

> 40% of adults age 18-34 think it's OK to use a friend's account and authentication to watch a live TV service. 

“The penetration of pay-TV remains lowest among younger adults and the categories that they tend to populate, including movers and renters,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.