CRTC Says Netflix in 17% of Canadian Homes, Saw 70% Growth in 2012


The CRTC is set to release their annual report this week will reveal some stats on the growth and popularity of Netflix Canada.

According to their data, Netflix saw growth of 70% in 2012, roughly 2.5 million households; but considering the data is close to being one year old, the actual numbers are most likely higher, especially given the popularity of exclusive shows such as the Emmy-winning House of Cards.

This immense growth has caused concern for the CRTC, as incumbent television providers argue the online service isn’t fair because it does not contribute to the Canadian broadcasting system nor have to meet minimum requirements for Canadian programming. Incumbents want a level playing field and suggest online services such as Netflix fall under content regulations or quotes removed for the entire industry altogether.

CRTC vice-chairman Peter Menzies, speaking at the annual conference of the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance today said:

“We’re looking at a communications environment that is radically different from what it was only 10 years ago.”

“Since then, the structures, the business models, the products and the technology of the industry have been dramatically transformed – to say nothing of the needs, the tastes, the expectations and the behaviour of consumers,”

The CRTC is seeking input from Canadians on how the broadcast system should be changed to serve consumer needs with further consultations with industry officials on how content should be delivered to our nation.

Back in May, Rogers was rumoured to have a Netflix rival under development, while TELUS said could develop applications to compete with Netflix as well. Part of Bell and Astral’s merger arguments to the CRTC was based on the fact both companies had to address “challenges to our business” from services like Netflix and create their own streaming competitor.

Cable providers have started to offer free live streaming solutions to keep viewers tuned in while they are mobile, such as Shaw’s recent launch of its Global Go iOS app. Shaw Media president Paul Robertson said conventional television still remains the largest portion of viewing opportunities but noted “there is a fast growing on-demand opportunities across all sorts of different devices.”

Netflix continues to be seen as a bargain for entertainment, at only $7.99 per month, which Kaan Yigit, president of Solutions Research Group, agrees with. He describes a Netflix subscription as the “simplest value proposition anywhere,” adding “one price, no commitment, cancel any time and it works on practically any device.”

Are you currently a Netflix Canada user? How much value are you getting out of your subscription?

[via Globe and Mail]


  • Al

    Hmmm… Seems like the communist CRTC curtain may finally begin to fall. I welcome the day when they no longer dictate how much foreign content we are allowed to watch.

    I noticed a while back that they lifted restrictions on satellite radio. Things could start to look good for us.

  • ScooterCat63

    Of course the dinosaur incumbents think streaming services, such as Netflix are unfair. This is no different than the big 3 cell providers. What is it with these companies? Why is whining and crying foul always their first reaction? Clearly, they’ve had it too good for too long. How about looking at why services such as Netflix work? I dropped cable a couple of years ago and don’t miss it one iota. All my needs are met via streaming. I pay for what I want to watch and that’s it. It’s still waaaaay cheaper than cable. I was sick of being forced to buy packages that contain channels I never wanted in the first place and then paying through the nose for the “privilege”. The solution is pretty simple, really – give people choice and charge a reasonable price. If Netflix can turn a profit at $7.99 per month…

  • Totally. Unfortunately I still have to buy my internet through them to access Netflix, so they’re still making money off me. 🙁

  • mcfilmmakers

    No, you don’t.

  • bill

    go on

  • jane

    We signed up with Netflix and enjoy the shows+savings from cable. As we also left Rogers as our ISP to go with a local ISP we are also saving more (speed is about the same, price we pay now is $40/m, no contact, 600gb cap/m which is great). The advise from my personal experience is, leave the main stream providers, and try others.

  • Chrome262

    I agree, I was worried at first that they were going to cave and impose some sort of regulations to placate the big 3. I am thinking of finally getting rid of cable tv and just stream everything. Although I would have to leave rogers, since I am capped at 120 gigs, which seems ok for now, I know if I go TV free it will get worse.

  • I’ll have to look into it again. In the past when I looked, it seemed that all of the other options were either not available in my area, not available at the speeds I’d prefer, or were significantly more money than what the big providers offered. The deal you’ve mentioned sounds great though, so I’ll see if I can find something like that. Thanks!

  • Al

    I’ve been seriously considering the same thing. But some shows/channels that we like are still more convenient (or only available) via satellite.

    Bell has unlimited Internet for $10 extra – but it appears you need to have a total of 3 services with them to get that price.

  • Chrome262

    Pal of mine threatened Rogers with leaving and they boosted his total to 300gigs so I might try it, because like you said there are some things that are just easier to get through cable. Although my wife just said ” Dexter is over, at this point if we just go to basic cable, its all I need for Coronation street, rest we can download” lol Basic is still close to 70 bucks

  • Chrome262

    3 services??? did they say what if you don’t have that, do you pay more? I went with Fido home phone and it was 10 bucks extra a month for me, saved me 50 bucks from rogers. I know, Home phone? but we have had the number for years.

  • Al

    With 2 services it’s $30 extra.
    I don’t have the advantage of super high speed Internet services from Rogers or Bell as they don’t provide that where I live (just 6-7mbs DSL from Bell). Also, even though Rogers has a cell tower a mile away, the signal is not consistently good which makes home phone a necessity still. So phone + satellite + Internet is our 3 (and will probably switch to Bell from Rogers for cell in a year… unless maybe Wind comes to this area by then). Sorry… I’m rambling.

  • Chrome262

    No its ok, my friend has similar issue with rogers signal, so he switched to Telus, and now he gets signal everywhere, and less dropped calls.

  • mcfilmmakers

    There are plenty of third party alternatives available and far more affordable.

  • If you would like to show me some that are available in Chilliwack, I’d love that. I just spent an hour trying to find an alternative to what I’m getting now ($55/month for 15Mbps ADSL with TELUS) and all of the alternatives I found operate through TekSavvy, and work out to the same price in the end after all the service fees, and in addition I’d have to pay for a modem and setup fees. Not worth it for me to spend over $100 to switch to a service that’s the same price.

    I even have my own cable modem I’d love to use to save the price of a modem purchase, but unfortunately none of them seem to offer cable internet service in Chilliwack.

    So go ahead, please prove me wrong and find me cheaper internet in Chilliwack.

  • mcfilmmakers

    Just because you don’t want to switch, doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives. For the same price, you have peace of mind that you aren’t contributing to the very thing you are complaining about. Instead, you seem content in your complacency.