Canadians Signing Up for Cheap, Pirated Live TV Subscription Services


An increasing number of Canadians are signing up for cheap, online pirated live TV channel subscriptions, which allow users to pay a small monthly fee to access to thousands of live TV channels from all over the world, offering everything from premium movie and sports channels to news and entertainment (via CBC News).

Iptv on youtube

One of these third-party dealers, selling pirated TV channel subscriptions services, claims to offer 500 TV channels for a monthly $20 subscription, whereas another offers an even better deal i.e. over 3,000 channels for just $15 per month. “Why pay more when you get it all for less!!!!”, the service claims.

According to a recent study carried out by broadband equipment company Sandvine in Waterloo, 6.5% of North American households have access to such pirated subscriptions. The research monitored anonymous home internet traffic from thousands of Canadian and U.S. internet providers during the month of September.

The black market industry is growing globally, and it’s catching on with Canadians. Sandvine spokesperson, Dan Deeth, says because these pirated TV services demand a fee, they pose “a real threat” to Canada’s cultural industries. That’s because if Canadians are paying the pirates, they may have less money to put toward legitimate TV services.

“That money is not going into the pockets of people who worked hard to make the content,” he says “This is money being paid to people who have literally stolen content.”

A China-based ‘Best IPTV Service’ told CBC News that the company is a third-party reseller that simply buys IPTV links to resell “for little profit”.


  • Quattro

    Reminds me of pirating music. Current offerings, such as those through kode, are frustrating and usually low quality. If they make programs available in high quality for less (such as through AppleTV – at sale prices), people will switch to that. I have already. Just watch for the sales and buy programs at half price. Way cheaper than cable. Way better quality than pirate streaming. No commercials. And the creators of the content get paid. It’s a model that works.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    They should be ashamed of themselves paying for pirated content. Pirated content is supposed to be free 😉

  • Sly C

    I have to agree with you here. The bigger problem is the expensive cable rates in North America and the amount of friction required by the end user to watch the content they want when and how they want. It’s exactly what was happening to the music industry in the late 90s.

    We’re on the cusp of a paradigm shift but apple and the others are finding out that the this industry is tougher to crack than the music industry was.

    On a personal level, I still pay for cable, sadly. I can’t remember the last time I watched something live and I find it jarring when a commercial comes on with double the volume. It’s offensive. Netflix and streaming solutions are where I do 99% of my viewing.

  • Marc Cueto

    I think if the Canadian prices were actually competitive there would be less pirating. In the US you get so much value for your dollar whereas with bell it’s so expensive and you get very little. You have to keep buying different packages to get channels

  • BeaveVillage

    Bell, Shaw, whoever, give us better package pricing and the pirating stops. It literally is that simple. Right now your services are highway robbery.

  • Curtis McIntyre

    companies keep raising prices regardless of pirating. They just wanna make more and more money and offer less and less content plus place more advertising on us. If they want more subscribers to come back start by lowering the prices would be a nice way. the $25 basic packs they offer now are a joke. i would be willing to pay a few dollars per channel if we were allowed to pick all the channels we wanted to watch and not be forced to pick packages to start.

  • Can’t blame them.
    My rent has gone from $750 to $1050 in the last 5 years due to inflation and such, I’m sure plenty of others in the same boat. $90 for internet, then another $65+ for TV.

    People are being squeezed from all sides from Gas to Bread and essential services.

  • Agreed. I’d happily pay for Cable if it didn’t cost $180 a month after Tax.

    So, Netflix it is.

  • Curtis McIntyre

    with things in this world getting cheaper and cheaper to make prices should be coming down in all area’s but no greedy corporations just want to make more for less, like CEO’s don’t need to make millions and millions of dollars per year to sit in an office deciding how to screw over staff and customers so they make more.

  • Arrrgh I love me free tv

    This is like 20 years ago when everyone seemed to pirate music from the file sharing websites. What happened that it is not as prevalent? Music became cheaper and more accessible online. Take notice cable television providers.

  • Steve

    The Canadian cable providers still don’t get it. We don’t want to rent a box to watch cable. Even with IPTV they are going to make you get a piece of hardware to access content. We want a service that’s no more than $20 a month and available on all platforms like Netflix. Do this and you’ll make money, it’s not rocket science.

  • Bill___A

    I pay $2400 a year or so for high speed internet and some cable channels. Most of these channels are ones I don’t care to watch. The only reason they are paid for is I am forced to get them in order to obtain the channels I do want. Each month, the cable company pays out some of the money that they collect from me to these doesn’t of channels that I don’t want to pay for but have to because “someone” decides they should exist.

    Imagine if they made us by all kinds of food we didn’t want in order to get the food we did want. Or if we had to buy three shirts we didn’t want for each one we wanted just to “support local fashion designers”.

    Why don’t we pay for cable the way we pay for power? So much per month to maintain the cable system (which does cost money to run), NO money to any broadcast entity that is available “free” over the air, no money to any channel that is classified as “basic” or “required” and a realistic fee for each channel we want. NO constraints about having to get some useless channel to get a good one.

    Bell and their buddies can complain about piracy all they want, but until government and industry learn to sell media to people properly, one can well expect piracy to exist. For the record, I don’t have one of these boxes, but I certainly understand it.

  • C Pak

    Which service should I get? Does anyone have any recommendations?

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    I still do not understand why we pay for cable when they make money with commercials. Either we get the services for free and put up with commercials or charge a small fee for the channels we want without commercials. TSN, Sportsnet, CTV News Channel and all others that have commercials should be free to receive. TMN, HBO Canada and others without commercials should have a small monthly fee.

  • clee666

    Where can I get pirated TV? I’m tired of paying over 180$ per month to Bell.

  • Brenda

    These pirated content boxes are not the only alternate to cable.

    I get five local channels with a cheap indoor antenna and could get more with an outdoor one. I can also watch most Canadian networks on AppleTV albeit with poor or non-existent streaming and no Radio-Canada/RDI.

    Once you start paying for content on the streaming services, there’s too much choice and too little time to watch. You can now Netflix, MHzChoice, Sundance Now, Mubi, Acorn and BritTV, all better alternatives to HBO/AMC/etc. And many U.K. channels (BBC, ITV, Channel 4) are free with a VPN (and two little white lies about your postal code and having paid your TV license). You can get news and weather. And there’s the sports streaming service that was announced last year. You can buy the latest series and most movies from iTunes.

    Netflix has clearly stated that their goal is global licensing for all their content. Things should get very interesting once the distribution licenses that Bell and others hold in Canada expire.

    There are still cable subscribers because most people don’t know how much choice they have.

  • Pedro

    This CBC article sponsored by Bell Media. If they really wanted to stop piracy they would provide good content at a decent price that looks nothing like the 90’s cable and satellite offerings they sell today.

  • We ditched cable a few years ago and haven’t looked back. Realized we never had time to watch cable TV and most viewing was on an iOS device or Netflix (or something streaming). The only thing I miss is watching live sports, which in itself is just for selling ads.

  • Tim

    I don’t even pay for pirated TV. I just generate accounts for whatever service I want to access.