US pay TV suffering as cord-cutting accelerates

The number of US households that subscribe to cable and satellite TV will drop below 100 million next year as the rate of cord-cutting jumps 12.5% year-on-year, according to eMarketer.

In its first forecast for the pay TV market, the research firm said that this year there will be 4.9 million US households that once paid for TV services but no longer do, a jump of 10.9% over the previous year – with this rise in cord cutting due to “accelerate in the coming years”.

eMarketer predicts that cable and satellite providers will “steadily lose customers through 2019” with the total number of US pay TV households to decline from 100.7 million in 2015 to 96.4 million in 2019.

The number of homes cutting the cord is predicted to rise from 4.9 million this year to 5.5 million in 2016, 6.4 million in 2017, 7.3million in 2018 and 8.4 million in 2019.

“This year, the number of digital video services expanded at a faster pace than ever before,” said eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna.

“In addition to standalone offerings from the likes of HBO, there are new digital bundles that include many of the channels consumers could only have received with cable and satellite subscriptions in the past. This widespread availability of digital content makes cord-cutting a viable option for a growing segment of the viewing population.”

The eMarker report also said that ‘cord-nevers’ – the share of viewers who have never subscribed to cable or satellite – is also “noteworthy”. This year it estimates there will be 15.9 million cord-never homes in the US, with this figure rising to 16.9 million in 2016, 17.8 million in 2017, 18.8 million in 2018 and 19.8 million in 2019.

The news comes a day after a separate report, from PWC, revealed 16% of Americans had ditched their pay TV subscription in the past year.

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