Advanced Television

Canada’s Pay-TV market to peak this year

September 6, 2012

Canada’s pay-TV market is expected to reach the saturation point this year, compelling the country’s cable, satellite and IPTV operators to seek new growth opportunities, according to IHS Screen Digest.

After years of steady expansion, penetration of pay-TV subscriptions among Canadian television households is set to reach an all-time high of 92 per cent in 2012. Subscription penetration will decline just slightly during the following years, due to economic issues and rising competition from OTT services.

“The inevitable maturation of Canada’s pay-TV industry has finally arrived,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for television research at IHS. “The country’s pay-TV operators are feeling the impact of economic woes spurred by the recession that recently ended in the US. Furthermore, OTT players like Netflix are playing a role in the cessation of pay-TV subscriber growth.”

The Canadian peak in pay-TV subscriptions comes three years after the same event occurred in the US. Canada reached the peak later due to delayed economic effects and severe data caps implemented by cable operators in the country.

With the era of significant growth for the basic video segment coming to an end, Canadian cable operators are seeking ancillary businesses to bolster sagging subscriptions. For Canada’s cable operators, new growth opportunities lie in services like Wi-Fi and cellular.

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