The first solid signs of cord-cutting in Canada are starting to emerge, according to Ottawa-based research and consulting firm Boon Dog, which reports that the country’s pay-TV market shrank in size during the six months to March 2013 – the first time it has done so since cable TV was launched in the early 1950s.
The study adds that publicly-traded TV operators lost an estimated 5,394 subscribers in the first three months of this year, and an even greater 8,175 in the last quarter of 2012. Given that this covers Canada’s largest and best capitalised TV service providers, Boon Dog infers that the entire traditional TV service market also shrank by similar levels in the same periods.
Mario Mota, Boon Dog partner and principal author of the report, said: “While the recent decline in subscribers in Canada is small relative to the size of the total TV market, we now have two consecutive quarters of data for the Canadian market that confirms that cord-cutting is a reality here too.”
Boon Dog estimates that there were 10.5mn Canadian households receiving digital TV services at the end of 2012, of which cable accounted for 61%, followed by satellite with 27% and IPTV with 12%. By the end of 2015, digital TV market shares are forecast to be 58% for cable, 21% for satellite, and 21% for IPTV.