Nine out of ten Canadians subscribe to cable, satellite or IPTV

Nine out of ten Canadians (89%) subscribed to television services (cable, satellite or IPTV) during the Spring of 2011 while 7% received their TV services over-the-air (OTA) and 2% did not own televisions at all according to a report released this week.

The report entitled “Navigating Convergence II: Charting Canadian Communications Change and Regulatory Implications – August 2011” is a compilation of independent research and views obtained from CRTC stakeholders examining trends in the Canadian communications industry.

The numbers were compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers in June 2011. The researchers predicts broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDU’s) will see the number of subscriptions to cable, satellite and IPTV continue to grow in the next five years by just over 2% per year from 11.5 million in 2010 to 12.75 million subscriptions in 2015.

The predictions are in contrast to many industry pundits who predict BDU subscription numbers will fall in coming years as consumers turn to OTT (over-the-top) internet services such as Netflix for their video content. The report notes that while OTT may be an economical alternative may be an economical alternative for consumers who are interested in only the smaller set of channels available online, BDUs will continue to appeal to households that want wide options or whose preferred programming and channels are not available on OTT services.

Over the next five years, the report predicts the bulk of new subscribers is expected to go to IPTV providers. The report estimates IPTV providers such as Telus, Bell, MTS and Sasktel will see growth in the number of subscribers of more than 300% between 2010 and 2015 from 300,000 to 1.3 million subscribers. Growth at cable companies is expected to plateau in 2013 while growth at satellite companies will be near zero.

The complete report can be read here.

Discuss the findings in Digital Home’s Canadian Television Industry forum.

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