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The sap rises for IPTV in Canada

Telcos are cutting a dash in the Canadian pay-TV at the expense of their cable and satellite rivals, with IPTV’s share of the local subscriber base rising to nearly 10% in the third quarter of 2012, according to research firm IHS.

This is up from 6.6% during the third quarter of 2011, and from 1.6% in the third quarter of 2007. IPTV is expected to increase its share of the Canadian pay-TV market to 18.1% by the end of 2017, cutting the combined share of cable and satellite still further.

“Canadian telcos are adding IPTV subscribers at a rapid clip as Telus and Bell Canada engage in large-scale build-outs of their infrastructure in order to reach more potential customers,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for television research at IHS. “IPTV will continue to make strong gains in Canada in the coming years, eroding the dominant position now held by the cable and satellite services.”

The research firm adds that for the most part, Canada’s pay-TV industry has been able to fend off the threat from over-the-top (OTT) services, thanks largely to strict data caps and limited OTT options.

However, this situation could change if data caps start to loosen up and broadband subscribers continue to increase. Netflix, for instance, now has more than 1mn subscribers in Canada, even though its content offerings are still relatively limited compared to those found on its US service.

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