Digital Home routinely receives updates from Canada's largest Video, Voice, data and wireless providers informing us how successful they have been in signing up new customers and pronouncing themselves the industry leader.

Every quarter, we bring this information together and find out which companies are Canada's biggest video, voice, data and wireless service providers.

In reviewing the financial statements of the large cable and telephone companies, Digital Home quickly realized found that ranking the various companies by revenues didn’t give us a good idea of who the industry leaders were in each category: Video, Voice, Data and Wireless.

To determine which companies are the leaders in television, internet service and telephony, we rank Canadian Digital Service providers within each category by their subscriber counts. (Please see the end of this article for a listing of the sources used in this article.)

The following are Canada's largest digital service providers ranked in terms of number of subscribers for Video (cable, satellite and IPTV television), data (internet service), voice (Cable and Landline telephone service), and wireless (mobile) phone services.

Cable or Satellite Television

Shaw Communications remains the largest provider of television programming services in Canada according to the company's August 31, 2009 financial results.

The cable and satellite television giant now delivers television programming to 3.2 million Canadian households consisting of almost 2.3 million Shaw Cable subscribers and just 900,000 Shaw Direct to Home (DTH) satellite television subscribers.

Rogers Cable is Canada's biggest cable TV distributor with 2.3 million basic subscribers followed by Shaw Cable, Videotron and Cogeco. BellTV (formerly Bell ExpressVu) is the largest non-cable TV distributor with 1.9 million subscribers.

The five largest cable and satellite providers in Canada combined for over 9.9 million subscribers. The following lists total number of subscribers for the big five television providers.
  1. Shaw - 3,190,841
  2. Rogers - 2,292,000
  3. Bell TV - 1,924,000
  4. Videotron - 1,759,700
  5. Cogeco - 864,805
Digital Television

Since our website is Digital Home, we also like to rank cable and satellite television providers by the number of digital television customers.

After removing analog cable subscribers, Shaw is now the number one Digital television provider in Canada with over two million subscribers consisting of 1,297,684 Shaw digital cable subscribers and 900,941 Shaw Direct customers.
  1. Shaw - 2,198,625
  2. Bell TV - 1,924,000
  3. Rogers - 1,585,000
  4. Videotron - 1,042,400
  5. Cogeco - 498,398
Digital Cable Penetration

The goal of most cable companies today is to increase the average revenue per subscriber by offering them more feature laden and more expensive digital cable services.

To measure how effective each of the major cable companies has been in converting lower paying analog customers into higher paying digital cable customers, Digital Home has calculated what percentage of each of the big four cable companies subscribers are now subscribing to digital cable.

The numbers show that Rogers has been the most successful in upgrading customers to higher priced Digital Cable services while Shaw Cable has been the least successful. Rogers has about 2,000 more basic cable subscribers than Shaw but has over 287,000 more digital cable subscribers.
  1. Rogers - 69.3%
  2. Videotron - 59.2%
  3. Cogeco - 57.6%
  4. Shaw - 56.7%
Combined 61.4% of the big four cable basic customers now subscribe to digital cable.

IPTV Providers

IPTV or Internet Protocol television is the telecommunications answer to cable television. Telco's use your home's telephone line to deliver television and video content services to your TV set using a set-top box, and delivering picture quality at least equivalent to existing pay-TV or free-to-air services. Video content can be broadcast-style pay-TV, video on demand (VOD) or other video interactive services.

In Canada, there are currently five IPTV providers in Canada: Aliant TV, Bell TV, MTS TV, Sasktel Max and Telus TV. To date the telephone companies have had little success with IPTV, however, the numbers are growing.

Only three Canadian IPTV providers currently publish subscriber counts. Telus TV, MTS (Manitoba Telecom Services) and Sasktel which have 137,000, 83,677 and 70,463 IPTV customer’s respectively.

Internet Service - Data

The following is the total number of subscribers for Canada's six largest Internet service providers which collectively now have over 8.5 million subscribers.
  1. Bell - 2,084,000
  2. Shaw - 1,678,335
  3. Rogers - 1,597,000
  4. Telus - 1,213,000
  5. Videotron - 1,145,400
  6. Bell Aliant - 797,682
Landline Phone Service

In landline telephone service, Bell Canada, Telus and Bell Aliant remain the largest landline telephone providers with 7,097,000, 4,100,000 and 2,980,684 lines respectively. Collectively the big three have just under14.2 million subscribers.

The biggest change in landline phone service over the last four years has been the introduction of cable telephone service. The big four cable companies have gone from zero subscribers at the beginning of 2005 to just over three million Cable VoIP subscribers in Canada today.

The following is the total number of subscribers to the big four cable company’s digital telephony services.
  1. Videotron - 979,100
  2. Rogers - 909,000
  3. Shaw - 829,717
  4. Cogeco - 281,608

At the end of June 2009, Canadian wireless phone subscribers numbered 22 million according to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA).

The following is a list of the top five Canadian wireless providers according to each firm’s most recent financial results.
  1. Rogers - 8,365,000
  2. Bell - 6,707,000
  3. Telus - 6,413,000
  4. Sasktel - 510,886
  5. MTS - 446,293
Information Sources

All subscriber counts in this article were gleaned from the respective company’s most recent published financial statements.
  • Bell - September 30, 2009
  • Cogeco - August 31, 2009
  • MTS - June 30, 2009
  • Rogers - September 30, 2009
  • Sasktel Wireless - December 31, 2008
  • Shaw - August 31, 2009
  • Telus - September 30, 2009
  • Videotron - June 30, 2009