Average pay-TV bill up more than 9% in one year to $99.10, Leichtman says

The average price in the U.S. for pay-TV services has risen more than 9 percent to $99.10, according to a new report published by Leichtman Research Group.

The figure, according to the research company, represents a 39 percent uptick over an average bill in 2010 of $71.24. Ten years ago, the average video services bill was $49.51.

Leichtman polled 1,222 U.S. consumers in June, and the averages came from self-reported figures. Eighteen percent of those surveyed couldn't recall offhand what they were paying for video services. 

Still, the steep increases jibe with an overall pay-TV trend whereby operators are focusing on higher margin "triple-play" customers and somewhat forsaking the lower, more price-sensitive end of the market. 

Concurrently, program costs are rising on an evermore steep trajectory -- so much so that the FCC is currently reviewing things like broadcast retransmission licensing in order to control these cost increases.

For its part, Leichtman logically ties the fast-rising average price of pay-TV with cord cutting. The research company notes that only 83 percent of U.S. homes have pay-TV, down from a peak of 85 percent five years ago. This decrease comes as the overall U.S. housing market has increased by about 4.5 million units since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Notably, 23 percent of apartment renters don't subscribe to pay-TV compared to only 12 percent of home owners, according to Leichtman. 

The firm said 21 percent of those who moved in the last year don't currently have a pay-TV bill -- up from 12 percent in 2010. Thirty-five percent of homes with only one TV don't have pay-TV versus only 10 of homes with multiple sets. 

For more:
- read this Leichtman Research Group press release
- read this Investors Business Daily story

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