Canadian households with streaming TV to eclipse traditional cable next year


The report estimates that about 32 per cent of Canadian households will not have a traditional TV subscription by the end of 2020

Traditional outlets, particularly cable TV and satellite across Canada, have seen a downturn in subscribers of roughly two per cent each year since 2015 as streaming services such as Netflix become more common, the report says.
Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

TORONTO — The number of Canadian households paying for at least one streaming video service will eclipse traditional TV subscribers for the first time next year, predicts an annual report on consumer habits.

Convergence Research Group says the growing popularity of an array of streaming options — ranging from Netflix and Crave to sports platform DAZN (pronounced da-zone) — is leading to a gradual shift in where viewers invest their entertainment dollars.

Those changing habits will cross a benchmark by the end of 2020 as more streaming companies launch in Canada, said Convergence Research president Brahm Eiley in the “Couch Potato” report on industry trends, released Monday.

“If we look at things a year ago compared to where we are now, you’re starting to see the global platforms enter Canada, and that’ll only intensify in the next couple of years,” Eiley suggested in an interview.

He pointed to Apple and Disney as two major corporations that plan to launch streaming platforms in the United States later this year. Both companies are expected to eventually make a push into Canada, adding to a list of newcomers that include art-house platform the Criterion Channel, and the CBC Gem app.

The Canadian adoption of streaming offerings has been much slower than in the United States, in part because Canadians have less than half the streaming options Americans do, Eiley added.

It’s one reason why many households still pay for both cable and streaming services, though even that is changing. The report estimates that about 32 per cent of Canadian households will not have a traditional TV subscription by the end of 2020 — an increase of about two percentage points from 2018.



  1. I can see this happening. If I choose to watch ota TV, it’s YES or CBC. I can receive both with a very clear signal via an indoor antenna. I spend most of my time watching YouTube. What I ended up doing is reducing my service to the most basic cable package and increasing Internet to unlimited.

  2. I recently downsized my subscription with Bell TV. It was interesting, the person at Bell made zero effort to keep me on, despite the fact I’ve been a loyal customer for years. When I told him I wasn’t getting value for the money, he tried to sell me the porn channels! I then realized Bell, and the others, are really in the porn biz, despite their anti-bullying, mental health etc. campaigns, which are nothing more then window-dressing. It strikes me as hypocritical to derive an income from a business that preys on vulnerable women, while at the same time promoting wellness campaigns. Obviously about the money, not the morality.

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