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Non-pay TV homes to double in North America: Study

MUMBAI: The number of pay TV subs in North America [Canada and the US] will fall by 10 million from 112 million in the peak year of 2012 to 102 million in 2022. Although this marks a 9% decline, this does not indicate a massive cord-cutting problem.

However,  the number of non-pay homes will climb from 20.69 million to 41.56 million over the same period [the number of total households will increase by 11 million. This includes non-TV households]. To put it another way, pay TV penetration will drop from the peak of 87.4 per cent in 2013 to 75.2 per cent by 2022.

The number of pay TV subscribers declined by two million in both 2015 and in 2016. However, the rate of decline will slow from now on, although the 2022 total will be 5 million lower than the end-2016 total, according to the North America Pay TV Forecasts report.

Digital TV Research principal analyst Simon Murray explained, “Where are the lost subscribers in the decade to 2022 going? Some analogue cable subscribers will give up paying for TV services rather than convert to an often more expensive digital platform.

“Cord-cutting is also a factor. It has been somewhat exacerbated by the traditional pay TV operators starting their own OTT platforms: satellite TV platform Dish provides Sling TV and DirecTV Now has recently started. Other distractions include Hulu, HBO Now and, of course, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.”

Cable has been losing subscribers since 2011. This is partly due to the fact that not all of the 18 million analogue cable subscribers at end-2010 will convert to digital cable TV platforms – or any digital pay TV platform for that matter.