Cable TV In Canada: Cord Cutters Will Be In The Minority For 2013

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Deloitte is predicting that few Canadians will cut their cable services in 2013. (Alamy) | Alamy

MONTREAL - Live TV, such as sporting events, will keep the vast majority of Canadian viewers from "cutting the cord" on traditional TV services in 2013, says Deloitte Canada.

Deloitte Canada is predicting that less than one per cent of Canadians will abandon TV services they're paying for from cable, satellite or telecom providers next year, despite hype around it.

"There are three pillars that prevent cord cutting from content: one of them is reality TV, one of them is sports and the other is news," Duncan Stewart, Deloitte's director of research, said Thursday.

"Those are things you generally cannot get when you are a cord cutter," Stewart said.

Stewart noted his prediction contrasts with surveys and headlines that say almost 10 per cent of Canadians are already cord cutters, watching only TV online with services such as Netflix.

The number of Canadians who pay for traditional TV services is up in the last year, not down, Stewart said from Toronto.

"People are spending more on their cable bills for watching TV."

If a customer switches from a cable provider to a telecom company for TV services with a monthly bill, that's not cutting the cord, but just changing your provider, he said.

Canadians watch 28 hours of TV a week and it rises to 31 hours or 32 hours weekly, if online TV watching is included, Stewart said.

Only 20 per cent of households do not have a frequent sports watcher, he added.

As for 2012, Stewart said his predictions last year that five per cent of tablets would be sold to households that already own a tablet and that half a billion smartphones costing $100 or less would be sold globally were both correct.

Historically, smartphones have cost $600 and $400 for a mid-tier device, but this year especially in the developing world and in North America, the devices have cheaper models, he said.

He said Deloitte's 2012 tech predictions scored an 82 per cent accuracy level. But he said his prediction that online display ads would grow 50 per cent on the Internet wasn't even close.

Another 2012 prediction that Stewart said proved to be accurate was strong demand for consumer technology, despite economic conditions.

Spending on tablets, mobile phones and software was up and sales of personal computers were flat but didn't go down this year, he said.

"Sales of TV sets were up this year, even in Europe."

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