The survey found that the proportion of US respondents who subscribe to pay TV has fallen from 79% in 2015 and 76% in 2016 to 73% this year – the same proportion who now also subscribe to Netflix.
“The number of traditional pay TV subscribers continues to drop as more people are trimming or cutting the cord completely,” the PwC report found.
“At the same time, people report they’re paying more for video today than they were last year. 53% of cord trimmers report paying more for their services in 2017 than they did in 2016. However, trimmers are still paying less than traditional subscribers overall.”
PwC said that live sports is one of the “primary motivators” keeping people tied to a pay TV subscription and predicted the evolution of live streaming in sports could mean an “even more precipitous decline in pay TV subscriptions”.
Some 82% of traditional pay TV subscribers polled said they would trim or cut their subscription if they no longer needed it to access live sporting events, while 90% said they believe the options for watching live sports have expanded in recent years.
The findings were taken from a PwC survey of 1,986 Americans, aged 18 to 59, with annual household income above US$40,000, plus two consumer focus groups in New York. The research was carried out in October.