Cord-cutting: 16% of Canadians mull ditching paid TV

About 16 per cent of Canadians are thinking of cutting the cord on their cable or satellite TV service, according to a survey by Media Technology Monitor.

Anglophones twice as dissatisfied as francophones with cable and satellite services

A new survey found 16 per cent of all Canadians would like to cut the cord on paid TV services. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

About 16 per cent of Canadians are thinking of cutting the cord on their cable or satellite TV service, according to a survey by Media Technology Monitor.

Anglophone Canadians in the survey are twice as dissatisfied as their French-speaking counterparts, with 17 per cent saying they are considering cancelling their paid TV subscription, compared to eight per cent of francophones.

The frustration Canadians expressed with paid TV service seems to run counter to what TV viewers are actually doing which is sign up for additional TV services, such as Netflix or online TV, while maintaining their cable service, according to a recent Deloitte survey.

Media Technology Monitor surveyed more than 4,000 18- to 34-year-old anglophone Canadians between October and December of 2013 to determine their media habits. The results of the survey are considered accurate within plus or minus 1.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The study found that Generation X viewers (those aged 34-47) and visible minority viewers were most likely to want to cut the cord.

In a consumer-friendly throne speech last year, the federal Conservatives signalled they wanted to make it easier for Canadians to love their cable or satellite subscription service by legislating more flexible TV packages so they could opt for what they want.

About 42 per cent of respondents said they had watched TV online in the past month, up 10 per cent from last year and nearly double the number in 2008. A third said they chose internet TV because it was convenient, though 19 per cent said they were catching up on a show they’d missed.

The survey also asked about binge-viewing habits and found half of Canadians admitted to watching at least three episodes of TV shows in a single sitting within the past year. About 64 per cent of anglophones under age 35 had done some binge-watching.

About 27 per cent said they had watched on a PVR and the same number on Netflix, but marathons of scheduled TV were still popular with 34 per cent of respondents.

Video watching on a smartphone took a sharp jump upward, with 30 per cent of smartphone users saying they had watched on their device, a reflection of improving smartphone technology.


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