Technology

Canada's pay-TV market to reach saturation mark this year: Study

MUMBAI: Canada‘s pay-TV market is expected to reach the saturation point this year, compelling the country‘s cable, satellite and IPTV operators to seek new growth opportunities, according to an IHS Screen Digest Television Intelligence Monitor Market Report from information and analytics provider IHS.


After years of steady expansion, penetration of pay-TV subscriptions among Canadian television households is set to reach an all-time high of 92 per cent in 2012, as presented in the figure below. Subscription be marginalised due to some customers buying HSD from cable operators.


Shaw is continuing to bolster its satellite fleet with an upcoming satellite launch to add HD channel capacity.


Declines at Bell Satellite TV are to be expected, as the company transitions existing customers to its Fiber TV service. For Shaw Direct, however, its first recent quarterly decline comes as a surprise, especially since the company has not posted any declines since two consecutive quarters of decreases in the third and fourth quarters of 2004.


Overall, mixed quarterly results are to be expected, with satellite as a category expected to grow subscribers slowly through 2016.


IPTV plays to its strengths: IPTV players are in the best position in Canada‘s pay-TV market with several weapons in their arsenal, including capabilities to offer aggressive promotions, roll out fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections and expand the penetration of homes passed.


OTT not to kill cable ops: Despite the challenge posed by Netflix, IHS believes that Canadian pay-TV operators are better-positioned to fend off the threat from such OTT services. The majority of cable operators provide severe data caps that are easily reached with significant OTT video consumption.


By 2016, IHS expects Canadian pay-TV subscriptions to decline only slightly to 89.9 per cent of TV households.

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