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North American pay TV subs to fall by 2021

Pay TV penetration in the US and Canada will fall to 80.3% in 2021 as the number of subscribers continues to fall, according to Digital TV Research.

Simon MurrayThe Digital TV North America Forecasts report claims that the number of pay TV subscribers in North America will fall from a peak of 112 million in 2012 to 106 million in 2021, with a decline of two million recorded last year.

“At first glance, this does not indicate a massive cord-cutting problem. However, the number of non-pay TV homes will climb from 20.7 million to 33.3 million over the same period, as the number of households will continue to increase,” said Digital TV Research principal analyst Simon Murray.

The report claims that pay TV penetration will drop from 87.1% in 2012 to 80.3% in 2021 and said that 2015 was notable because subscriber losses were recorded for all of the major pay TV platforms – cable, satellite and for the first time IPTV.

“Cable has been losing subscribers since 2011. Satellite TV started in 2014, and IPTV joined them in 2015,” said Murray, who noted that prior to last year much of the pay TV subscriber decline had been attributed to the loss of analogue cable subscribers.

According to the research, pay TV revenues in North America peaked in 2015 at US$111.64 billion and will fall by 12.1% to US$98.10 billion in 2021.