Cord Cutters Growing in Canada, Thanks to Alternative Video Services: Report


According to the J.D. Power 2017 Canadian Television/Internet Provider Customer Satisfaction Study released today, more than 1 in 4 subscribers in Canada are considering cutting their TV cords as alternative video services continue to grow, with Netflix being the most popular platform.

Cord cuters netflix

“While our data does not signify a mass exodus over the short term, TV subscribers are increasingly experimenting with —and liking—alternative streaming video options,” said Adrian Chung, director at J.D. Power. The latest studies found that a total of 27% of subscribers are either unsure or plan to drop their pay TV service within the next 12 months, while 73% say they plan to keep their television service.

“The biggest concern for the cable industry should be the highly favorable customer satisfaction scores that alternative video services are receiving relative to traditional pay TV.  The availability of faster network speeds stands to further fuel this shift in viewing preferences.”

The following are some key findings of the 2017 study:

  • Alternative video service adoption rising: More than half (53%) of pay TV subscribers have used an alternative video service in the past year, up from 49% in 2016 and 42% in 2015. Among customers who’ve tried alternative video services, Netflix is by far the most widely used platform (73%).
  • Satisfaction higher for alternatives than traditional: Customers rate their alternative video service higher than their traditional pay TV service for overall experience (7.58 vs. 7.04 on a 10-point scale). This is driven primarily by higher ratings for overall cost (7.84 vs. 5.97).
  • Faster, faster, faster: Satisfaction with internet service providers is highest when customers have download speeds of 500 Mbps or higher. Satisfaction levels decline in lock-step with declining internet speeds.
  • Usability is key: When asked to rate alternative video services on a scale of 1-10 for ease of use, customers gave Netflix a rating of 8.11 vs. the average of 7.91.

The studies, which were fielded in September-October 2016 and March-April 2017, are based on responses from 9,308 TV customers and 9,207 internet customers in Canada.

As for the rankings of providers? In the East region, Videotron was the top for both TV and Internet satisfaction, for the fifth year in a row. Shaw and Cogeco ranked second and third for TV, while Cogeco and Eastlink took second and third for Internet service. Bell and Rogers were below the East average.

In the West region, SaskTel topped TV and Internet satisfaction for the fifth year in a row. Telus was second in TV and MTS third. For Internet, Telus ranked second.




  • hlna55

    the cost of cable tv has gone up dramatically and yet the commercials you have to watch have also increased. Logic would say this relationship should be an inverse rather than linear.

    What am I saying? Cable companies have been screwing over the consumer for years in conjunction with the major networks while the quality of the broadcasting has decreased as well. This migration to other sources of programming is still in its infancy but there can be no doubt that the trend is away from traditional tv until another workable solution is offered

    The worst thing that happened to tv was that people started to become amused by streamers and YouTube members. And I’m glad it happened

    The clock is ticking.

  • We cancelled cable over a year ago. Don’t miss it. Barely have enough time to watch Netflix with a toddler.

  • Olley

    OTA TV is much better. It’s legal, free, most channels in 1080p (opposed to TV box subscription’s 720p) and all you need to do is to purchase a 30 dollar antenna and you’re set.

  • Michal

    came here to say this…. 🙂 dropped satellite some 8 years ago and never looked back. do not miss.

  • SV650

    There are exactly zero OTA channels available where I live, so it is not as simple as .purchasing a $30 antenna. Please be cautious in extrapolating your situation to other consumers.

  • hlna55

    Exactly. I agree. And when I DO have time to watch anything there will not be commercials involved!!

  • Haha…yes…my time is now YouTube for sports highlights…takes me a couple days to get through an episode of House of Cards! o_0

  • Tim

    I haven’t had cable since 1999. I really don’t get it. You can watch almost anything you want, when you want, via the internet, especially today.

  • rob geo

    where can you get download speeds of 500 Mbps?

  • Brenda

    Great question. Bell’s Fibe plans go as high as 1 Gb if you’re in an area where fibre is available. I have 150 Mbps, but rarely get over 95 Mbps download speeds.

    But you don’t need those kind of speeds to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sundance Now and other services. While travelling I’ve been able to download and watch content from services as low as 15 Mbps albeit with the occasional wait while
    content is buffered. One hundred Mbps is more than enough to stream live European channels from North America.

  • Brenda

    Can’t get OTA where I live because I’m on the ground floor of a building surrounded by higher brick buildings. Not much to watch on those channels either as they’re pretty much cable-liter-than-lite. There are way more interesting things to watch if you have AppleTV or Roku.

    You don’t need the Internet for OTA, but unless you’re on a severely restricted budget or live somewhere without it, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to live without Internet access. Just the thought of it makes me anxious.

  • Brenda

    is your toddler walking around saying “YouTube, YouTube” in a demanding voice? It’s a standard refrain at a friend’s house these days.

  • hahah he’s all about YouTube Kids…Ryan’s Toy Review is crack for kids. Thank god for the in-app timer 😛

  • ticky13

    Except live sports in HD at an equivalent cost to cable.