Cord Cutting Accelerates as Pay TV Loses Nearly 5.9M Subscribers in 2022

(Image credit: iStock)

DURHAM, NH— Pay TV providers, including cable, satellite and vMVPD companies representing 92% of the market, lost nearly 5.9 million net video subscribers in 2022, compared to a pro forma loss of about 4.7 million in 2021 according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 70.2 million subscribers—with the top seven cable companies having about 37.8 million video subscribers, other traditional pay-TV services having 24.1 million subscribers, and the top publicly reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services having 8.3 million subscribers. 

That number represents a steep drop from LRG’s estimate of 76.1 video subscriptions in 2021. Although cord cutting has gradually increased year over year for the past decade, LRG reported that the trend eased up between 2020 and 2021 when pay TV providers lost 4,690,000 net video subscribers in 2021, compared to a pro forma net loss of about 4,870,000 in 2020. That blip was probably best represented by the fact that more TV was being consumed during the lockdowns imposed by the global pandemic.

Over the past decade, cord cutting has cost pay TV providers more than 25 million video subscribers, according to LRG.  

Key findings for the year include:

  • Top cable providers had a net loss of about 3,530,000 video subscribers in 2022, compared to a loss of about 2,695,000 subscribers in 2021
  • Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 2,720,000 subscribers in 2022 – compared to a loss of about 2,890,000 subscribers in 2021
  • Top publicly reporting vMVPDs (not including YouTube TV, which does not regularly report results) added about 370,000 subscribers in 2022 – compared to a gain of about 885,000 subscribers in 2021
  • Traditional pay-TV services (not including vMVPD) had a net loss of about 6,250,000 subscribers in 2022 – compared to a net loss of about 5,585,000 in 2021

(Image credit: LRG)
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Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.