04/02/2013 02:44 EDT

TV Viewing Habits Canada: Hundreds Of Thousands Cutting The Cord, Convergence Consulting Says


About one in 50 Canadian TV subscribers has ditched their cable or satellite service to rely on streaming and over-the-air TV, according to a new study, and many more are planning to join them.

The research report from Convergence Consulting Group found 250,000 former TV subscribers across Canada had ditched their subscriptions as of 2012 -- about 2.1 per cent of the total.

And the consultancy expects the trend to accelerate, with 130,000 more Canadians joining the cord-cutters in 2013 alone.

Some media and tech analysts have forecast hard times for TV providers in the coming years, as high-speed broadband and streaming services give TV consumers more options on where and how to watch their favourite shows.

Still, population growth means that cable and satellite providers in Canada are still adding to their total number of subscribers, despite the cord-cutters.

However, the rate at which new subscribers are buying TV services is slowing. While 233,000 new subscribers bought TV services in 2011, in 2012 that number had shrunk to just 52,000, Convergence Consulting said.

The study also found that Canadians watched more TV shows on their PVRs on a weekly basis in 2012 than on free, legal online services like broadcasters' websites.

This habit has been driven by aggressive pricing including free PVRs by providers such as Bell, Telus, Shaw and Quebecor, the study said.

It found that 4.7 million Canadian households had personal video recorders at the end of 2012, compared with 3.5 million in 2011.

With files from The Canadian Press

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