Cord-cutting continues to accelerate in Canada

Monday, November 9th, 2015 
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‘Cord-cutting’ in the Canadian traditional TV service market continued to accelerate in the first nine months of 2015, according to new research

OTTAWA — Canada’s publicly traded television service providers(1) combined lost almost seven times more TV subscribers in the nine-month period ended August 31/September 30, 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, according to new research from Ottawa-based research and consulting firm Boon Dog Professional Services Inc.

The big TV service providers combined lost a record 153,000 TV subscribers in their respective three fiscal 2015 quarters ended August 31/September 30*, up significantly from 22,000 lost in the same quarters in 2014. In the three-month period ended August 31/September 30 alone, which is traditionally a stronger quarter for subscriber results, the publicly traded TV service providers lost 39,000 TV subscribers, up sharply from 4,800 lost in the same period in 2014.

“The ongoing trend of the cable companies losing customers to the IPTV companies continued with the latest subscriber results,” notes Boon Dog Partner Mario Mota. “Perhaps more importantly, however, are the significant structural milestones occurring in the TV service market. For example, as of September 30, Bell became the largest TV service provider in Canada, surpassing Shaw. Why is this significant? Shaw has been providing TV services for almost 50 years, while Bell began offering TV services 18 years ago. In addition, Boon Dog estimates that the number of IPTV subscribers will surpass DTH satellite TV subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2015.”

Boon Dog cautions that the record subscriber losses continue to represent just 1% of the traditional TV service market as roughly 11.5 million households subscribed to a traditional TV service at August 31/September 30, 2015.

A full analysis of the latest TV subscriber metrics and subscriber forecasts will be published in the next report in Boon Dog’s Canadian Digital TV Market Monitor research series.

1. BCE, Rogers, Shaw/Shaw Direct, Vidéotron, Cogeco, TELUS, and MTS (IPTV subscribers only)
* Shaw/Shaw Direct and Cogeco’s fiscal year-end is August 31 and so the numbers include data from December 2014 for these companies