Cord-cutting in Canada accelerates significantly in 1H 2015

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
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‘Cord-cutting’ in the Canadian traditional TV service market accelerated significantly in the first half of 2015, according to new research

OTTAWA — Canada’s publicly traded television service providers(1) combined lost almost six times more TV subscribers in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 and almost double what they lost in all of 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 113,700* TV subscribers in their respective fiscal 2015 first and second quarters, up significantly from 19,200* lost in the same quarters in 2014 and almost double the 65,000* lost in their entire 2014 fiscal years.

“The ongoing trend of the cable companies losing customers to the IPTV companies continued in the first half of 2015,” says Boon Dog Partner Mario Mota. “And since IPTV subscriber growth is slowing and the satellite TV companies continue to experience significant subscriber declines we are seeing overall TV subscriber losses accelerate.”

Mota notes that TV subscriber losses in the first half of 2015 included the impact of the CRTC’s decision prohibiting TV service providers from requiring customers to provide a minimum 30 days’ notice to cancel their service, which effectively resulted in an extra month of customer deactivations being counted in Q1 2015 compared to previous quarters. Mota cautions that even with record subscriber losses, given that roughly 11.6 million households subscribed to a traditional TV service at the end of the first half of 2015 (June 30), the 113,700 customers lost so far this year represents just 1% of the total market.

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.

Canadian Publicly Traded TV Service Providers Net TV Subscriber Growth/Decline
(Fiscal Q1 Ended February 28/March 31, 2015 and Fiscal Q2 Ended May 31/June 30, 2015)

TV Service Provider &                   Net TV Subscriber
Fiscal Q1 and Q2 2005 End                  Growth/Decline
--------------------------------------  -----------------
BCE – March 31 and June 30                        44,180
Rogers – March 31 and June 30                    (73,000)
Shaw – February 28 and May 31                    (60,491)
Vidéotron – March 31 and June 30                 (34,600)
Shaw Direct – February 28 and May 31             (11,074)
Cogeco – February 28 and May 31                  (14,709)
TELUS – March 31 and June 30                      38,000
MTS (IPTV only) – March 31 and June 30            (2,011)
--------------------------------------  -----------------
Total                                           (113,705)

1. BCE, Rogers, Shaw/Shaw Direct, Vidéotron, Cogeco, TELUS, and MTS (IPTV subscribers only)
* Rounded numbers