Global pay TV households are still growing, just not in the U.S.

The total number of global households that subscribe to pay TV services is expected to keep growing, just not in the U.S., according to new research from Kagan, the media research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The company said multichannel households are expected to reach a total of 1.1 billion by the end of 2021, up just 0.5% year over year increase, “as subscriber gains in emerging markets barely make up for accelerated cord cutting in North America, Western Europe and advanced markets in Asia-Pacific.”

Despite the growth in overall pay TV households, more and more operators are shutting down traditional TV services and migrating customers to either their own or a third-party streaming service. Multichannel penetration of TV households is therefore expected to decline to 58.8% by end-2021 after peaking at 60.6% in 2018, continuing to decline to 56.6% by 2025, according to Kagan.

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While multichannel penetration declines worldwide, the global number of pay TV subscribers will continue to grow in the next five to 10 years, everywhere except North America. Kagan is forecasting that nearly 1.15 billion homes worldwide will have a pay TV subscription by the end of 2025.

That rise in global pay TV homes won’t translate to an increase in pay TV revenues, though.

“The global multichannel economy is modeled to generate $191.18 billion in video service revenues by the end of 2021, representing a 3.5% year-over-year decline compared to 2020, with losses exacerbated by declining annual video service revenues per user in North America. This trend is expected to continue as global video service revenues decline at a negative 2.4% CAGR from 2020 to 2025 due to rapid pay TV household losses in the U.S. and Canada. Video service revenues are modeled to continue growing in other global regions, with Eastern Europe posting the highest CAGR in that time period at 3.9%,” wrote Kagan analysts in a report.