Cord-Cutting Nation? 1 In 4 Canadians Not Paying For TV

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TV GARBAGE
André Schulze via Getty Images

TORONTO - Another new poll suggests so-called cord cutting may be growing in Canada.

Nearly a quarter of the respondents in an online survey conducted by Ipsos Reid in recent weeks said they did not have a traditional TV subscription.

The increasingly compelling selection of streamable content available online and access to free over-the-air TV signals have convinced some consumers to cut the cord, or go without paying for TV.

But Ipsos Reid noted that an even bigger trend is so-called cord stacking, when TV subscribers decide to pay for a la carte digital services to complement their TV package.

Among the three quarters of Canadians that told pollsters they do pay for TV through a cable, satellite or IPTV provider, nearly half also paid for video content through another source.

Apple's iTunes marketplace, Netflix and sports subscription services including NHL GameCenter and MLB.TV are among the most popular of the sources, sometimes called over-the-top content providers.

About one in five of the TV subscribers polled said they pay for two or more OTT services on top of their TV bill.

The poll of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between Jan. 30 and Feb. 4.

The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population like traditional telephone polls.

A telephone poll released by the Media Technology Monitor last month found that one in seven Canadians said they were either somewhat or very likely to quit their TV service and opt for free or cheaper alternatives.

The Media Technology Monitor's survey of 4,009 anglophone Canadians was conducted by Forum Research and is considered accurate within 1.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

In November, the Convergence Consulting Group estimated about 400,000 Canadian TV subscribers out of 11.8 million have cut the cord since 2011, which is about 3.5 per cent of the market.

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