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Almost 160,000 Canadians cancelled TV subscriptions last year

By Ken Hanly     Jul 13, 2016 in Business
Ottawa - Even though about 160,000 Canadian cancelled their TV subscriptions last year, conventional cable and satellite TV providers saw revenues decline just 0.1 percent to $8.9 billion
Companies mostly offset the loss in revenue by charging remaining subscribers more. A Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) report said that the number of TV subscribers declined from 11,404,591 in 2014 to 11,246,669 last year, a decrease of 157,992. TV providers have offered remaining customers expanded or better services but at a price. The average monthly charge was up from $65.25 in 2014 to $66.08 in 2015.
The TV companies also managed to cut costs. For example, they spent less on making Canadian content, $38.1 million less than last year. The industry employed fewer people last year as well, 27,244 which is a 6.3 percent decline from 2014.
Earlier this year a number of providers raised their fees slightly which may have caused some users to cut the cord. Companies such as Netflix may also be a factor in more people not using conventional TV. In a recent quarterly report, Solutions Research Group said that as of June this year 5.2 million Canadians pay for a Netflix subscription. There are about 13 million households in Canada according to Statistic Canada, so Netflix is well on its way to reaching half of all Canadian homes.
Even more of a threat to conventional TV providers are "cord-nevers". These are people who have never really considered conventional TV necessary in the first place. Many of them are younger. Sukhpreet Sangha, 27, has never signed up for cable or satellite TV. She said: "It just seemed to be not worth the cost when I could get enough of what I wanted in other ways. I'm not sure I would call [traditional TV] passé, but I would call it unnecessary." As well as getting movies through services such as Netflix, news, music, sports, etc. can be accessed via computers. A recent online survey of 32,000 American adults discovered that of 24 percent who did not subscribe to cable, only 6 per cent were cord-cutters, while 18 percent were cord-nevers. Many in the new generation of young Canadians may find that conventional TV is not worth subscribing to, since what they want is available by other means at a lower price tag.
More about Netflix, cable TV, Crtc
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