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Average monthly cost of cable/satellite bill in North America 2017

A survey investigating how much North American consumers spend on average on their monthly cable or satellite bill revealed that 25.5 percent of respondents paid between 51 and 75 U.S. dollars for their service, and 9.5 percent paid more than 150 dollars per month. These figures may sound ordinary to some, however for many households the cost of cable or satellite is simply too high. With streaming services like Netflix available for well under 20 dollars per month, it is hardly surprising that cord-cutting has become increasingly commonplace among U.S. consumers.

Do people still use cable or satellite TV?

Whilst a great many people still use cable and satellite television, times are changing. In 2018, DIRECTV lost over 1.2 million subscribers in the United States, whilst the number of Netflix subscribers in the U.S. has grown quarter by quarter for the last eight years. Traditional providers are struggling whilst streaming platforms are booming. Whether this will continue forever, no one knows for certain – but as CDs have given way to audio files and emails have replaced handwritten letters, the effect of the internet on our movie and TV viewing habits was inevitable. Streaming services offer consumers the easy, hassle-free opportunity to watch what they want, when they want, and this has proved invaluable (not to mention good value for money).

Data shows that very few U.S. consumers were satisfied with the cost of their cable package, whereas the majority were happy with the amount they paid for their streaming service. The same study showed that satisfaction with content on cable was good, but once again, changes in the market mean that this may not last. With Netflix churning out its own series and movies and Amazon Prime Video creating successful shows like ‘The Man in the High Castle’ and ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’, cable providers simply cannot match streaming services in terms of what they can offer their customers.

Consumers often do not realize that they want or need something beyond what they already have until they’re given it, and this is exactly what streaming has done to cable. Nowadays, consumers have the chance to enjoy shows during their daily commute to work, on long distance train journeys or whilst waiting to be served in their local café. Laptops, tablets, smartphones and desktop computers all function as a ‘television’ as long as there is an internet connection. Watching the entire season of wildly popular shows like ‘Stranger Things’ just four days after their release is now a possibility, removing the need to wait for episodes to become available to watch each week. In late 2019, even Disney will reveal its own streaming service, which is said to have the potential to cause seismic shifts in the market.

Average monthly cost of cable/satellite bill in North America in 3rd quarter 2017

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Release date

December 2017


Canada, United States

Survey time period

Q3 2017

Number of respondents

3,013 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Supplementary notes

Not including video-on-demand/movie purchases, phone or internet.

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Statistics on "Cable TV in the U.S."

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