Canadian TV Service Providers Lost Record Number of Subscribers in 2016


Canada’s biggest TV service providers — think Rogers, Bell, Shaw, Quebecor, Cogeco, Telus, and MTS — have lost a record number of subscribers, new research has found.


Speaking with CBC News, consultant Mario Mota says companies lost 202,000 subscribers, compared to 160,000 in the previous fiscal year. But when you look at the number of households subscribed to cable TV, well, that number becomes minor. Mota has knowledge of about 11.3 million households with a cable TV subscription, making 202,000 only 2% of the total market.

What apparently lured them away from traditional cable TV are the “over the top” video services such as Netflix, which has become increasingly popular.

Mota also notes a slowdown in IPTV growth for the past fiscal year. In fact, major IPTV service providers such as Bell, Telus, and MTS added two times fewer subscribers in 2016 than in 2015 “due to limited IPTV footprint expansion and competition from the cable companies,” he wrote.

And cable TV service providers are promoting their services aggressively to keep their customers and prevent them from switching service providers, offering deals on bundled home internet and TV packages, the analyst notes.


  • RickysCV

    And are they aware of the avalanche of people that are near the tipping point? Probably hard to see with their heads in the sand!

  • sarge

    Let’s see, $70+ a month for TV and no ability to watch what you want when you want. And you get nothing but commercials every few minutes.

    Or $9 with netflix to access a mountain of TV shows and movies on demand with no commercials

    Tough choice for the average consumer

  • Brew

    What does Bell expect, they have plundered TMN for there on demand channels , many film never make it to TMN $15 a /mnth services , (maybe HBO only reason to keep it). Digital channels that play Criminal Minds , Castle & Murdoch Mysteries nearly ALL the time , and are promo stations for the companies other products . Websites for their channels are hopeless/useless.
    but cutting the cable doesn’t necessarily save y much money ie: internet bandwidth fees increase, sports on internet package, etc

  • Kord Kutter

    And for the price of a Kodi box and an internet connection no cable forever. Just as printed news is dying, the cable tv subscription model is doing likewise.

  • johnnygoodface

    Yes the cut off threshold is probably coming soon indeed for a lot of people, but I wouldn’t say they don’t see what’s coming, or shall we say instead: do WE see what’s coming: I see Internet fees growing disproportionately, and pretty soon, CRTC or not.

  • SV650

    To paraphrase Cohen: Fifty-seven (hundred) channels, and there’s nothing on.

  • Riley Freeman

    service sucks. I pay for 5 tsn channels only for them to play curling on 4 out of 5 and not air PTI or ncaa duke vs north carolina (greatest rivalry in sports)

    why wouldnt people cancel with that type of BS

  • Lol…don’t you have love for the Brier! 😉

  • Kord Kutter

    My two university age kids don’t watch television anymore. If they see an hour a week that is alot for them. When they start their own families I doubt that they will be cable television subscribers just because everything they get is from their laptops. Cable television is going the way of the dodo bird and the suppliers are too short sighted to see it.

  • raslucas

    By restructuring into smaller services, kind of like what Rogers did with Sportsnet now, the carriers have the potential to reverse the trend. I only use tv to watch sports, so between Sportsnet Now, OTA, and MLS live I’m usually good. We need more of this. Maybe I want to watch Walking dead every Sunday? Charge me 10$/ month for access to AMC. that turns me from a non-paying customer to someone paying 10$ a month. Ya know?

  • Larry

    I cut the cable in January 2007. Sold the TV, too. Never missed it.

  • ticky13

    Your statement isn’t entirely accurate. With PVR and on-demand, you can watch what you want, when you want.

  • WorldWideWebpolice