How Many People Still Have Cable

How Many People Still Have Cable in 2024?

Published on: November 17, 2023
Last Updated: November 17, 2023

How Many People Still Have Cable in 2024?

Published on: November 17, 2023
Last Updated: November 17, 2023

Quick Answer 🔍

How Many people still have cable in 2024?

56% of adults in the United States still have cable television.

For decades cable television has been a staple in American households.

However, the popularity of free and paid streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Pluto, people are choosing what they want to watch and when instead of relying solely upon cable TV programming. 

So, how many people still have cable nowadays?

Recent data from Statista revealed that 56% of adult in America have cable or satellite TV, but the numbers are in decline.

For reference, in 2019, 63% of adults had cable TV or satellite TV, which is a sizeable drop over the 56% from 2021. Furthermore, in 2015, this percentage was 76%. 

Baby Boomers are more likely to have cable TV or satellite TV (49% share) while aduts aged 18 to 29 only have a share of 34% in the cable TV and satellite TV market.

Therefore, most new generations in America are turning to streaming services to get their entertainment.

In this article, we will address the number of people who still pay for cable TV and focus on the demograpics and statistics in this market sector.

Let’s talk TV.

Key Statistics

  • 56% of adults in the United States still have cable television.
  • 8 million households have quit traditional TV services over the past year.
  • Since 2012, cable television services have lost around 25 million subscribers.
  • In July 2022, it was shown that streaming television had grabbed the larger piece of the market over cable.
  • It’s expected that the cable and satellite TV penetration rates will see a decline of 7% by 2023.
  • 46% of people aged 30 to 49 still use cable TV or satellite TV.
  • Cable TV penetration rates are set to fall under 60% by 2030.
  • Between 2015 and 2020, streaming services rose by 340%.
  • 35 million people in the United States say they never had cable at all.
  • Sports-related cable TV content is still popular.

How Many People Still Have Cable in 2024?

Cable TV 406

1. 56% of Adults in The United States Still Have Cable Television.

A+ survey from 2021 found that 56%of adults in the United States said they watch cable or satellite television.

Among American adults aged 65 and older, the percentage of cable TV users is 81% which accounts for the highest usage among age groups.

The age group with the lowest percentage of users is between 18 and 29 years old at 34%.


2. 8 Million Households Have Quit Traditional TV Services Over the Past Year.

Since 2022, 8 million households quit paying for traditional television services like cable and satellite over the past 12 months.

In the second quarter of 2023  traditional pay television services declined by 2.3 million alone.

This showed a 3.7% decline year-over-year from the previous quarter in 2022.

Also, there was an industry decline of 25% in the same quarter.


3. Since 2012, Cable Television Services Have Lost Around 25 Million Subscribers.

Cable TV 408

This data shows us that cable television services have seen significant decline since 2012.

Since that time, about 25 million cable subscribers have been lost to streaming services or other forms of entertainment in the home.

Much of this is because of the flexibility and lower cost of streaming services.

(Broadband Search)

4. In July 2022, It Was Shown that Streaming Television Had Grabbed the Larger Piece of The Market Over Cable.

The first time that streaming television services outpaced the market over cable occured in July 2022 when a Nielsen survey showed that steaming had surpasses cable viewship.

While this was a narrow gap between streaming accounting for 34.8% in 2022 and cable accounting for 34.4%, it was the first time the decline in cable TV usage was shown.

(TV Scientific)

5. It’s Expected that The Cable and Satellite TV Penetration Rates Will See a Decline of 7% by 2023.

As we have already seen in these statistics, cable is experiencing a decline and has been since 2012.

The rise of streaming services has played a role in this decline.

In fact, it’s estimated that a 7% decrease in cable and satellite TV penetration rates will be seen by 2030. 


6. 46% of People Aged 30 to 49 Still Use Cable TV or Satellite TV.

Cable TV 409

We understand that 81% of adults 65 and older are the biggest consumers of cable and satellite TV services.

However, there are other age demographics that still show some significant usage of conventional television.

For instance, 46% of people aged 30 to 49 are still using cable and 66% of the 50 to 64 age demographics are still watching cable or satellite TV.

Therefore, we have a few Gen Z, Gen X, and Baby Boomers using cable television.


7. Cable TV Penetration Rates Are Set to Fall Under 60% by 2030.

By 2030, cable TV penetration rates alone are set to fall to under 60%.

While right now, cable is pretty well still used in households in America, but in around seven years, there could be just a 50/50 chance that housesholds will still have cable.

There was a time that kids complained about their grandparents not having cable when they went for a visit.

(Broadband Search)

8. Between 2015 and 2020, Streaming Services Rose by 340%.

It was predicted a few years ago that streaming services in America would see an increase in revenues by 340% between 2015 and 2020.

In 2015, steaming apps had a revenue of $7.1 billion (USD), which increased to $24.1 billion (USD)in 2020.


9. 35 Million People in The United States Say They Never Had Cable at All.

According to statistics, 35 million people in the United States ay that they have never ahd cable TV.

Much of this demographic includes younger people just out of college or university or currently in college.

They may have enjoyed cable at home as a child, but as adults they have only consumed streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or other free or paid streaming service.

(Broadband Search)

10. Sports-Related Cable TV Content Is Still Popular.

Cable TV 410

Data shows that sports viewing via cable subscriptions is still popular.

In fact, this segment of cable TV rose by 22% in January 2023, according to Nielsen.

Additionally, ESPN’s viewership increased by 3% between 2021 (11%) and 2022 (14%), as per Nielsen research.

Moreover, prosperous Americans spend over $20 billion on sports-related viewing each year.

(TV Scientific)


How Much Does Cable TV Cost?

The cost of cable television services varies depending on the provider, the package you select, and any add-ons you may choose.

That said, the average cable TV bill in America accounts for about $114 per month. 

What Channels Are Included with Basic Cable TV?

Basic cable television offers programming from local broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX, plus you get other channels like CNN, TBS, ESPN, and some others providers usually list on their websites.

Basic cable tV is the lowest price teir.

What Are the Advantages of Cable TV Compared to Streaming Services?

Here are some advantages cable TV has over streaming services:

• Cable offers Live TV which means you get to watch your favorite programs, sports, and other programming as they occur.
• Channel selection is often wider with a broad variety of channels that you get from streaming services.
• Picture quality is often better with cable TV than it is with streaming services.
• Reliability is a maintstay of cable TV as it continously operates for the duration of its programs, especially during peak times. In other words, there’s no streaming lag time.

What Are the Disadvantages of Cable TV Compared to Streaming Services?

We also want to provide you with some disadvantages cable TV has compared to streaming services:

• Cable TV is usually more expensive streaming services.
• Some cable providers require that you sign a contract for services.
• Cable TV offers bundled services that can include internet and phone service which makes it harder to get the TV service you want.


While streaming services boast lower costs, not all of them are offering significantly lower costs for their live TV offerings on streaming services.

Overall, we know that cable and satellite TV and streaming services offer different advantages and disadvantages.

The option is to choose your ideal television viewing option.

We have learned that sports television is the best hope for cable TV and satellite TV to survive and thrive in the coming years as this segment of cable television viewership has been on the rise compared to other cable TV programming segments.

Do you still use cable television, or have you cut the cord and switched to streaming services?

Predictions about the future of cable TV are divided with some people saying it’s on the way out and barely hanging on and others say it still has value and several years of life left in it.

As people continue to migrate to streaming services and cut cable TV out of their households, it could be on its way out, or it may be ready for a reconfiguration or renewal in the coming years. What do you think?

How many people use cable?

Now we know that still over half of Americans pay for cable television, thought the numbers are declining.

We hope you have learned more about cable and the people who use it.


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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.