Television cord cutting reaches record levels - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Television cord cutting reaches record levels

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Television cord cutting hits record level in 2016 for Canada?s big providers: report | Financial Post

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post #2 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 02:57 PM
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I cut the cord in November - plan on re-attaching it for a few months (CFL/F1 seasons) and then disconnect in November again.

Soon as TSN is available like Sportsnet with a online/OTT package, I'll subscribe to it, or if CFL/F1 launch their own packages, seasonally.

I wonder how many others are like me - just subscribe on a "seasonal" basis?

My snowbird parents also do this annually - and then pick the best deal when they return for the spring/summer/fall, and cancel when they go back south.
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post #3 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 03:07 PM
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^^Wow Shaw lost a lot of subscribers, 130,000.
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post #4 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 05:43 PM
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This article is completely incorrect. Cord cutting is a myth. Most cord cutters just switch to IPTV services that have opened in the last year or so all over the place. Just check kijiji.
All for about $15 a month.

Last edited by bev fan; 2017-03-16 at 06:55 PM.
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post #5 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 05:57 PM
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They are overpaying.

As a legitimate BDU VMedia are currently providing their skinny basic IPTV service for free for 6 months to new subscribers.

Also Zazeen were charging the equivalent of $10 a month a while back for their IPTV service.
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post #6 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 06:20 PM
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Are they?
$15 for thousands of channels vs 20 or so OTA channels from Vmedia free with their internet service for 6 months.
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post #7 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 06:28 PM
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You said cord-cutting was a myth, so I assumed you were only considering legitimate Canadian IPTV BDU's which would not be cord cutting but a change of provider. Also, I didn't think you would want to promote piracy by posting links to illegitimate services (I didn't follow the link).
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post #8 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 06:48 PM
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I am not sure if those services are illegitimate or not. I have seen few of these stores in my area advertising these type of services with adds in front of a store and live tv inside the store. One is actually in front of a big shopping mall and the city hall.
I think it is piracy but it may or may not be against the law in Canada, I am not a lawyer. That is why Canada is a piracy heaven according to some content producers.
It is just funny that Canadian TV service providers are losing thousands of customers to those type of services and nobody is doing anything about it.
Actually BDU's are not talking about it because they do not want to promote these services but they know it is a huge problem, I just can not find a link to that story.

I talk about it not to promote it but to show that it is a huge problem and the main cause of cord cutting so it should be addressed.
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post #9 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-16, 07:54 PM
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Cord cutting is not a myth. Its a result of market changes. Competition is created not only from other cable offerings but from advances to technology.
Jobs and competitiveness in the manufacturing sector is subject to the same forces. It was the ignorance of classic auto makers that cased the near failure due to global competitiveness. Cord cutting is a provider created outcome. If the big guys learned to compete rather than collude.... their retention rate would stabilise.
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post #10 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 01:21 AM
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I think a number of our different viewpoints are over semantics more than reality. Some observations:-

1. Cord-cutting is not really cord-cutting when we are still connected to that very same cord. It's plain daft to call it cord-cutting. To that extent it is a myth. We need a new term for BDU cutting.

2. Technological change is a, probably the, key factor.
(a) The internet has become currently all important, and the vast majority of so-called "cord-cutters" are more dependant on that cord than ever. I wont be crying for any of the big telcos, just as well as a lot of our pensions are invested with them. They have rock solid guaranteed future revenue streams from their duopolistic network cords.
(b) traditional myriad BDU TV channels are no longer a value added proposition for most people. The BDU's themselves with their on demand services, Crave TV services, and PVR's demonstrate that the traditional commercial television channel model is obsolete. "Cord-keepers" may now hardly ever see those endless, mindless commercials on their BDU TV. BDU TV is fast obsolescing. Specific content provision is now universally king and the BDU's are fighting hard to reinvent themselves in this brave new world. They know the old world has gone forever. And actually they don't really care as they still have control of the cord.
(c) Piracy is a real but minor sub-issue in the wider context of this massive technological change.

3. Regardless of the legality of any particular stream, the CRTC digital rights exemption means that (in Canada at least) even legal internet based services (be they Netflix or F1 or major league sports packages or even foreign IPTV services) are seen as something legally different to a BDU. It's semantics again and another unsustainable daft CRTC policy distinction. I can watch NHL Hockey on Sportsnet via an IPTV BDU on my wireless roku or on Rogers Gamecentre Live on my very same wireless roku. The former selection makes me a "corder", the latter a "cord-cutter." Either way, I'm still tied to that same cord coming into my house from big cable and my subscription fees ultimately end up in the media company belonging to that same big cable company. "Cord-cutting" is semantic nonsense completely divorced from both the economic and technological reality!

Cord-cutting is not a myth but a dangerous misleading nonsense leading to poor public policy decision-making. BDU cutting is growing. Perhaps abolishing BDU's themselves may be an idea whose day is not too far away?
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post #11 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 03:02 AM
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Regardless of what name you give it, anecdotally, pretty much everyone I know who does not subscribe to a BDU subscribes to Netflix and otherwise pirates what they want to watch. They won't even consider other Internet-based options that exist such as CraveTV. $10 - $15 is the most they're willing to spend on TV (which primarily goes to Netflix) and they'll pirate anything that doesn't provide them. Even if all existing content was offered by an Internet-based service tomorrow, it would be an uphill battle to bring those people back from piracy, because the price they're now used to ($0 in many cases) is a hard price to beat.

Look at the music industry -- streaming services are now the norm, because for the price of a single album per month, you can listen to basically whatever you want, regardless of publisher. That's essentially Netflix's model, except you don't get everything there, and TV/movie content is far more expensive to produce, so I don't believe that model would be sustainable there with the current amount of content we have. That's the model people want though, and they don't seem willing to tolerate anything else. Some US content providers have already begun taking small steps in that direction to attempt to stop the bleeding, but as far as I know, the only one that has seen any substantial amount of success with that is HBO, and even then, people tend to only subscribe while the show they want is in season.

The other factor though is that there's so many entertainment options these days, many of which legitimately cost little or nothing, that there may be too much competition and people only watch a handful of shows at best. I see a consolidation of content offerings coming in the future, because the current model will become unsustainable. Netflix can only afford all the shows it does because it has a massive global revenue base. That will likely also be the direction we're going with everything, in that licensing content by territory disappears.

As for the CRTC, they know it would be impossible to attempt to regulate Internet content in a global marketplace, which is why they haven't tried. Even the US hasn't attempted to do that. They also know that traditional BDU days are numbered, and their recent regulations are a lot more hands off, but those BDUs still have a privileged position in the marketplace, and thus still warrant some regulation while they still exist.
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post #12 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 08:01 AM
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If I wasn't getting a retention deal that effectively makes TV free, I'd cut the cord. We barely use it aside from a couple of things, and they're not worth the standard price at all. Plus, the endless drudgery of commercials. It's paying far more and getting a vastly inferior version of the product as compared to Netflix/Crave/etc.

And that's not even counting the piracy options... which yes, a $15 "IPTV box" is almost certainly one of, given that it's likely not licensed in any way. That's just a rebrand on the Kodi boxes, since a court order applies to those due to a lawsuit.

The BDUs know all this, which is why they're jacking the price of Internet sky high whenever possible. That's the one thing people actually want. The cable TV business model is a legacy one and will gradually die off as the people who are used to it get older and become a progressively smaller market. Millenials and those who come after them have zero interest in being told to pay $60/month to watch a show when some guy in Toronto dictates it will be in, interrupted by 50 lame commercials. That model is a dinosaur, and the only question is how long it takes for the meteor to hit.
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post #13 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 08:49 AM
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While they have number per say on the people who have 'cut the cord'.. dropped cable/sat..

But would be nice to see the numbers of otherwise WHAT they then went to??

How many have NOTHING.

How many are streaming via LEGAL means.

How many are streaming via illegal/grey area means.

(sadly, i believe the larger amount will be the later)

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post #14 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 09:33 AM
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I agree. This is why I call cord cutting a myth. Not because it does not exist but because it does not exist in the numbers that the article provides.

Years ago a cord cutter would cancel tv subscription for Netflix, OTA, YouTube and some free streams.

These days if a person cancels Rogers Tv service but gets access to all channsls provided by Rogers, Bell and others, either using Kodi or unauthorized IPTV service, are they real cord cutters.

How can people call themselves cord cutters when they have and are able to watch hundreds of premium live tv channels, way more than what I have with my mere $60 a month tv subscription.
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post #15 of 136 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 10:24 AM
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The current "free TV" phenomenon is not much different from pirate satellite boxes about 10 years ago. The technology has changed but it's all about criminals selling hardware to circumvent content licensing agreements and copyright laws. The differences are that the content sources have changed and so has the hardware. Pirate satellite was fairly easy to control due to limited suppliers for the boxes and the software mods that made them work. "Free TV" boxes are more difficult to control because the hardware is legally available from many sources, the content servers are outside Canada or US jurisdiction and the piracy software is more widely available. Making sale of pre-configured Android boxes is not going to do much good since the sellers can go underground at any time. The only way to combat this is by shutting down the content servers.
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