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The Leichtman Research Group (LRG) recently released its latest estimates of pay-TV subscriber trends, this time covering end-of-year figures for 2016. Armed with this data – and our ongoing analysis of Netflix paying subscribers – we decided to take a look at how Netflix’s audience size measures up to the top pay-TV providers.

Here’s what we found (all data as of end of 2016):

  • Netflix now has 47.9 million paying subscribers in the US;
  • Netflix’s US paying subscriber count has almost doubled in the past 4 years;
  • The 47.9 million paying subscribers for Netflix rivals the estimated 48.65 million for all of the top cable companies, combined;
  • The number of cable company subscribers has fallen from 51.3 million 4 years ago; and
  • Netflix has twice as many paying subscribers in the US than any single pay-TV provider, with Comcast (22.5 million), a cable company, and DIRECTV (21 million), a satellite company, leading among pay-TV providers; and
  • Netflix has close to half as many paying subscribers as the entire pay-TV provider market.

Obviously that doesn’t translate to revenues, as consumers typically spend about 10 times more on pay-TV services than they do on Netflix.

So it’s an academic idea, but if you’re looking for a sense of Netflix’s size relative to the country’s top pay-TV providers, the two charts in this article should give you that!

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