North America’s pay-TV subs decline to slow over next six years

North America pay-TV subs by country (000)(Source: Digital TV Research)

North America’s cord-cutting activity is set to slow down over the next six years, according to new data.

The US and Canada have both seen dramatic declines in the number of pay TV customers over the past decade, with subscribers set to fall from a combined total of 111 million in 2015 to just 60 million by 2029, according to Digital TV Research.

The US will lose 51% of its total (down by 49 million), with Canada down by 23% (3 million), meaning North American pay-TV penetration will drop from 85% in 2015 to 43% by 2029. The US will drop below 50% in 2024.

However, while the ongoing trend away from cable shows no sign of reversing, its rate of decline is set to slow.

Digital TV Research data suggests the number of pay TV customers in the US will fall by less than six million over the next five years, dropping from 56.3 million in 2024 to a projected 50.7 million in 2029.

In Canada, pay-TV customers will decline by only 300,000 – from 9.2 million in 2024 to 8.9 million in 2029.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, highlighted that while the number of pay TV subscribers across the region “plummeted” by 41 million between 2015 and 2023, “subscription declines will slow, with a fall of 10 million subscribers between 2023 and 2029.”

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