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Forecast: Under 50% Canadian homes subscribe to pay-TV in 2022

August 31, 2021

In 2022, 48.9 per cent of households in Canada will have pay-TV, marking a massive and continuing trend of cable cord-cutting in the country, according to forecasts by eMarketer.

As recently as 2015, more than 75 per cent of households in Canada – a total of 10.5 million – had pay-TV. That figure has been steadily declining for years and will dip to 7.9 million, or 51.3 per cent of households, by the end of 2021.

“Cord-cutting is an underlying reason for digital video’s displacement of TV,” commented Paul Briggs, eMarketer principal analyst. “The annual decline in cable TV subscribers has been in the low single-digit percentage range for many years, but the number jumped in 2020.”

While many households in Canada are cord-nevers – that is, households that have never subscribed to pay-TV – an increasing share are cord-cutters, those who have chosen to leave traditional pay TV behind. This year, 34.4 per cent of non-pay-TV households were cord-nevers, while 65.6 per cent were cord-cutters. This marks a shift from 2014, when these two shares were split almost evenly.

Many internet users have pivoted to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but streaming subscription rates vary across English and French speakers in Canada.

Pay-TV households will continue to decline in Canada. By 2025, eMarketer predicts that just 7 million households will maintain pay TV subscriptions, a total share of 43.1 per cent of all households.

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