US falls out of love with pay-TV

January 14, 2013 10.22 Europe/London By Julian Clover

After months of talk around cord cutting, Americans may finally be about to vote with their wallets.

TDG Research says the number of pay-TV households will fall below the 100 million mark in 2013, declining to 94.6 million by 2017.

Levels peaked in 2011 at 100.9 million, and while the 99.3 million forecast for the next 12 months is still above 2010 levels it is the steady decline thereafter that will cause the most concern.

The next question for industry watchers is whether providers will be able to hold onto current revenues and if not where the money is headed. One answer may be the increasingly powerful broadband services. Another might be Netflix-type services, though the question remains as to whether the internet streamerís offer is broad enough to sustain family audiences against the likes of HBO and ESPN.