800,000 US homes ditched pay-TV in 2009

An estimated 800,000 US households stopped their cable, satellite or telco TV subscription services last year, a number that could double to 1.6 million by the end of 2011, according to a study from Convergence Consulting Group.

The report found that 17 per cent of the weekly TV audience watches at least one or two episodes of TV shows online, up from 12 per cent last year; that figure is expected to rise to 21 per cent next year. Convergence noted that consumers who have ditched their pay-TV subscriptions still represent less than 3 per cent of total online TV viewing.

The firm’s report also estimated that just 100 million TV episodes were purchased and downloaded from online retailers in the US in 2009, generating revenues of $200 million; this is up from 90 million downloads in 2008.

The US counts an estimated 101 million pay-TV subscribers, making for an $84 billion industry.

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