Report: Canadians slicing the TV cord on pace with U.S. counterparts

New research from the Toronto-based Convergence Consulting Group indicates that Canadians are snipping the TV cords at a pace that rivals than their counterparts in the U.S.

According to the research, 5 percent of U.S. TV subscribers cut their subscriptions between 2008 and 2013, with 1.25 million (1.3 percent of the total subscriber base) snipping the cords in 2013. The researchers predicted that U.S. TV cord-cutter households will hit 6.23 million (6.2 percent) by the end of 2014.

In Canada, things seem to be accelerating. Between 2011 and 2013, the researchers estimated, 3.9 percent of Canadian TV subscribers cut their subscriptions, with 1.6 percent taking action in 2013 alone. By the end of this year, 665,000 Canadians (5.7 percent) are expected to give up their pay-TV services.

As subscribers apparently abandon pay-TV services, the U.S. and Canadian audience for "free online full-episode TV (not requiring a TV subscription, iTunes, Hulu Plus, Netflix [NASDAQ: NFLX], Amazon [NASDAQ: AMZN], etc.) remains flat," the research said. Convergence Consulting estimated that 18 percent of the weekly viewing audience in both countries watched an average of two to three episodes of cable or broadcast content online in 2012 and that a similar 18 percent would watch the same amount of programming in 2014.

"We attribute the leveling off to the growth of Netflix (as well as Amazon, Hulu Plus, etc.), increasing DVR penetration, online advertising loads, less free and more authenticated online full episode broadcast and cable network TV behind cable, satellite, telco TV access players' walled gardens," the researchers said.

For more:
- see the Convergence Consulting Group report synopsis
- and this Calgary Herald story 
- and this Canadian Press story

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