Where is Pay TV Going?
I read a prediction by Matt Voda of OptiMine in Forbes.com. He said, “The arrival of virtual reality in 2016, combined with a major explosion of streaming and the death of the old world distribution models will unleash a new age of what we used to call ‘TV.” He could be right, but… in December of 2016, 76 percent of the U.S. adult population was currently receiving TV via cable or satellite (Source: Pew Research). The death of the old-world models will need more than 52 weeks.
Surprisingly, the group that is most likely to “cut the cord,” is connected to cable or satellite: 65 percent of 18-29 year-olds and 73 percent of 30-49 year-olds were receiving pay TV. Considering that cable provides broadband for a majority of these households (for all these new sources), it could be a slower than anticipated reduction in homes than first thought.
It’s best to look at the data, rather than make sweeping statements about media now or in the future. Here are Pay-TV penetration facts:
- All adults — 76%
- 18-29 — 63%
- 20-49 — 73%
- 50+ — 83%
- HH <$20k — 63%
- HH >$75k — 86%
Yes, TV is changing and will change. However, as long as there are long-term contracts for the rights to NFL (DirecTV contract ends in 2023), Super Bowl, NBA, Oscars and college football and so on, it may be hard to cut the cord completely – especially if it is tied to your Internet connection.