TDG: Legacy Pay-TV Services Expected to Decline by 2030

PLANO, TEXAS—While there is an expectation that virtual operators like SlingTV and DirecTV Now will continue to eat into traditional pay-TV services share of the market, The Diffusion Group projects that there will be less to go around by the time 2030 arrives. This comes from a new TDG report, “The Rise of the Virtual Pay-TV Provider – Analysis & Forecast,” which focused on the evolving residential pay-TV space, with both long-term forecasts for virtual and legacy subscribers.

By 2030, TDG expects that the penetration of live multi-channel pay-TV services will decline from 85 percent of U.S. households in 2017 to 79 percent. Overall, 30 million U.S. households will live without an MVPD service of any kind, whether its virtual or legacy.

Legacy MVPDs and legacy pay-TV penetration are expected to see significant declines over the forecasted time period, with TDG predicting pay-TV penetration to fall from 81 percent of U.S. households in 2017 to 60 percent in 2030, a decline of 26 percent. Meanwhile, virtual pay-TV penetration might be looking at a growth of up to 350 percent, with TDG projections seeing it grow from 4 percent to 14 percent of households.

“TDG said early on that the future of TV was an app,” said Joel Espelien, TDG senior analyst. “The question is no longer if the future of TV is an app, but how quickly and economically incumbents can adapt to this truth and transition to an all-broadband app-based live multi-channel system.”

The full report can be viewed here.