Canadian pay TV market mirrors U.S.: cable services down, IPTV up

Although the more nationalistic Canadians might take umbrage at the comparison, it seems that pay TV services in Canada are following a trend already established by their counterparts south of the border.

According to the latest data compiled by analyst firm IHS, pay TV subscriptions were down 10,810 in the second quarter of the year even as IPTV gained. Canadian providers can also take solace in another trend that mimics the U.S.: Things are bad but they're not getting worse. The April-June loss was less than the previous two quarters, when operators lost 27,840 customers.

If you're an IPTV provider, the news is better. While cable and satellite lost 108,160 customers in the second quarter, IPTV gained 97,630 net additions. It marked the seventh straight quarter of "negative growth" (aka losses) for the Canadian cable industry, IHS said in a news release.

"For the pay TV industry in Canada, employment, income and housing starts are the most important factors," Erik Brannon, IHS' North American television analyst said in the press release. "Although there are positive signs in the economy, pay TV operators in Canada have their work cut out for them to maintain positive video subscriber growth."

That's not the case with IPTV, necessarily. That technology marked its ninth straight quarter of growth with Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) and Telus (NYSE: TU) leading the pack.

For more:
- IHS issued this press release

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