Quebecor Media Axes 220 Jobs as Netflix Competition Bites

Julie Tremblay - P 2014
Courtesy of Quebecor Media

Julie Tremblay - P 2014

The Quebec media giant, led by CEO Julie Tremblay, cited "ongoing disruption" as U.S. media giants increasingly dominate the Canadian market.

Canada's Quebecor Media Group will cut around 220 jobs as part of cost-cutting due to "ongoing disruption" from Netflix Canada and other U.S. media giants moving north of the border, it was announced Wednesday.

Around 125 of those jobs are at TVA Group, Quebec's private French-language broadcaster. Plans to chop around 8 percent of the Quebecor Media workforce follows the Montreal-based company and other Canadian media giants facing increased competition from Netflix and other U.S. media groups.

"In Quebec, as elsewhere in the world, our industry is facing ongoing disruption," Julie Tremblay, president and CEO of Quebecor Media Group and TVA Group, said in a statement. Quebecor Media, which also runs Quebec's largest cable TV provider, was among the first Canadian media groups to unbundle its cable channels for consumers to discourage cord-cutting.

But that effort wasn't enough as Netflix, which launched in Canada in late 2010, now has over 5 million subscribers in the country for its video streaming service. That dominance comes as Canada gets set to introduce full a la carte cable and satellite TV in December.

"Today it is clear that we must continue our transformation in order to further adjust structural costs and become more agile," said Tremblay.

Besides competition from Netflix Canada, Amazon is expected to shortly launch in the country as upstart local streaming service Shomi gets set to shut down on Nov. 30.

Shudder, AMC Networks' subscription video streaming service for horror fans, also has just launched in Canada.