Pay-TV Penetration to Drop to 48.8% Across the Americas by 2023

LONDON—By 2023, less than half of TV households in the Americas will have a pay-TV subscription, according to a new report from data and analytics company GlobalData. As cord-cutting trends continue, particularly in North America, the overall penetration of pay-TV in homes will drop from 53.2% in 2018 to 48.8% in 2023.

While the statistics represent all of the Americas, the only two countries that are actually projected to see a decline in pay-TV subscriptions is the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. alone is projected to lose more than 10 million subscriptions.

Globally, the average of homes with a pay-TV subscription as of 2018 was at 55.3%. In Central and Eastern Europe that number was at 71.2%; it was 67.4% in APAC; and Western Europe came in at 62.5%. All regions, except for APAC and the Americas, are expected to continue to grow.

“Although cord-cutting is not affecting Latin America as a region yet, we expect subscriber growth will decelerate in the coming years as customers’ appetite for on-demand content increases and new commercial platforms in the SVoD markets emerge,” said Eulalia Marin-Sorribes, a GlobalData technology analyst. “In order to slow the decline, traditional pay-TV operators are enhancing their video service proposition with OTT features are relevant content offers.”

Marin-Sorribes also notes that the emergence of 5G will increase transmission speeds that will boost opportunities for OTT providers and competition among fixed broadband and pay-TV segments, likely accelerating cord-cutting in most mature markets.