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Cord Cutting Alive and Well in Canada
Two Consecutive Quarters of Pay TV Subscriber Declines
by Karl Bode 08:31AM Tuesday Jul 02 2013
Netflix got a late start in Canada, but the effects of the company's entry are starting to be felt by Canadian pay TV companies on a minor scale. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Netflix has helped contribute to two successive quarters of combined subscriber losses by domestic cable and satellite TV carriers. The losses aren't causing Canadian cable executives to lose sleep just yet, at just 5,394 TV subscribers lost in the first quarter of 2013, after 8,175 customers were lost in the fourth quarter of 2012. That's nothing compared to the 11.8 million households in Canada, but like in the States -- this transition has proven to be a glacial one as pay TV operators fight it tooth and nail with usage caps, restrictive content licensing, and their own me too Internet video service offerings.

topics flat nest 


Netflix rules

Why pay those ridiculous TV cable fees ? ...especially with Hola un-blocker to get free access to both Canadian and US Netflix. 13,000 + shows/movies/episodes. But then again, I never did get into Sports, History or Discovery channels

as Mr. Pink as they come
Phoenix, AZ

Re: Netflix rules

said by dougalqc:

Why pay those ridiculous TV cable fees ? ...especially with Hola un-blocker to get free access to both Canadian and US Netflix. 13,000 + shows/movies/episodes. But then again, I never did get into Sports, History or Discovery channels

yeah if you dont mind bitstarved garbage PQ.
* y a w n *
Despises any post with strings.


Re: Netflix rules

Yeah, 1080p with 5.1 is awful.

Whitby, ON

This is easy...

I'm sure it has something to do with the absolute garbage that is thrown down our throats on behalf of TLC's "Honey Boo Boo" and "Toddlers and Tiara's".


Waterloo, ON

Re: This is easy...

That's part of the reason why I cut my cable service.

Other factors included:

- being made to pay for a paper bill, when online billing is not a secure AND efficient method for me
- having to pay more every year for poorer and poorer quality in terms of digital transmission (think compression)
- The programs I wished to watch I had to find through alternative methods
- In order to take advantage of HD, I would have to spend a significant amount of money on a new display, which I can't afford
- My time has become more important to me on how I spend it

aka UnrealArcher

East York, ON
This was a huge reason for why I finally cut the cord and turned my cable box back in. Haven't missed it even remotely.

Toronto, ON

Busy Retention Departments

Potential cord-cutters like myself are being held at bay by the incumbents by heavy discounting, so the lacklustre numbers in this regard are more of a testament to their retention departments then anything else. Apparently they are content with receiving half-a-loaf instead of a full loaf in payment. The question is will they continue to be happy with getting only half-a-loaf and what will happen if the cord-cutters in the future offer to pay only a quarter-loaf for a full loaf of service?

Coventry, RI

Re: Busy Retention Departments

When I called Cox to cancel in 2009, I was shocked that no attempt was made to "retain" me. I expected the hard sell, the amazing discounted (temporarily) offers, with premium channels thrown in. I would have rejected them anyway, as I had made up my mind after hooking up my 40 year old roof top antenna and seeing what I could get over the air for free. But still, it was a little disappointing to NOT be able to turn them down.

They have spent plenty of money trying to get me back, ever since. Those oversize 4 color glossy postcards in the mail every other week, and even a phone call once, where they offered to match the price of whatever other service I had switched to. My reply to that was "Really! You can match free?" The conversation ended quickly after that.

Toronto, ON

Re: Busy Retention Departments

I think the reason they did not try to “retain” you was because it was 3 years ago and the cable head honchos at that time were in total denial over any possibility of any cordcutting. Now my cable company has given its retention department the resources to offer amazing discounts.

As for the temporary nature of the discount, my telco is actively trying to win me back with an offer that undercuts and surpasses the cableco's deal, all the while telling me that this is an ongoing price and not a temporary deal. My cable company will not allow the telco to undercut its pricing so as long as they continue to compete in my market I should be able to get a pretty good deal.

As for me continuing to be a cable TV customer that is questionable simply because no matter how good a deal they give me I simply watch very little TV much preferring to watch the Blu-ray version of any movie or wait for the TV series to show up on Blu-ray.

Burlington, ON
·WIND Mobile
·Execulink Telecom

Not necessarily worth it

I don't have pay TV, however adding up the costs of my current setup, I have begun to question whether a TV sub might be worth it.

I currently pay $8 for Netflix, $5 for unblock-us and $10 - $20 per month for sports (MLB.tv, NHL GameCentre). Altogether I"m around $23 - $33/month (depending on the season and sub sharing), but the cost is approaching a basic IPTV/cable package.

If you're a TV watcher only, you can save money, but watching sports get expensive online.

Coventry, RI

Re: Not necessarily worth it

The sports packages do get expensive. Even Netflix can add up if you also have the DVD service. But one of the things you are paying for, is the ability to watch all this without commercials. If you can go back to paying to watch commercials after having enjoyed their absence, then by all means......

With a sporting event they are not that bad, but with a movie or even a 1 hour drama (yes there are 1 or 2 on TV worth watching) it ruins the immersion for me. That and the often overly large, bright and intrusive network logos on the screen all the time, have greatly lessened the entertainment value of Pay TV services. Even if the cost had been more reasonable, maybe even if they offered a la carte, I would have cut the cord for those two reasons alone.



Count me among the 5000 lost subscribers this year...

I've had expressvu since 2009 or whenever the hell Look TV went under. Anyway, I was subscribing to the Movie Network but last December I got totally fed up with the lack of content that was showing up on the network.

For the previous year instead of 4 month old theatrical releases they were showing more and more made for cable crap and trying to pass it off as "premium" entertainment. Lots of big releases were bypassing M channel entirely and ending up directly on commercial cable like Iron Man 2, The Three Stooges Movie, The Watch and dozens of others that I can't even recall right now.

So anyway, I picked up a Roku box and enjoyed what Netflix had to offer and saved myself almost $30 a month counting fees and taxes but lately I've been seeing the same crap happening with Netflix Canada these days.

Made for cable GARBAGE passed off as premium entertainment.

So, last month I cancelled my Netflix subscription and now I'm simply watching a regular expressvu package mixed with free services like Crackle on the Roku.

As for theatrical release movies? The way I calculate it, I can afford to BUY every major release DVD from Amazon resellers about 6 months later for about the same or lesser total cost than subscribing to any of these services.

The truth is, that IPTV is not killing off the giants but rather just redistributing the same sh*t for a few pennies less, all the while skimping on content and hoping the public won't notice.

It's all horse manure no matter how you slice it.

At least whenever I buy a DVD I own it for life and can watch it at my leisure anytime I want without paying some stupid extra licensing fee.