Report: Netflix Spurs Canadian Cord-Cutting

After a run-up in cable TV subscription additions, Canadians will start to cut their cords to embrace Netflix, GoogleTV and other new digital options.

TORONTO – Canadians are starting to cut their cords, a trend due to Netflix and other over-the-top U.S. digital players migrating north.

Toronto-based Convergence Consulting Group, in its latest North American online, TV and movie distribution survey, estimates that 2011-2012 will see 1% of Canadian TV subscribers cut their cable and satellite TV subscriptions to rely solely on online, Netflix or bunny ears.

Domestic carriers continue to sign up Canadian TV subscribers, with additions 25 percent higher in 2009-2010, compared to 2008-2009. But emerging alternatives for Canadians, including Netflix, will see cable TV subscribers for the first time start to cut their cords, the report said.

Cost and content will drive the Canadian trend. The average Canadian TV subscription currently is $61 per month, according to the report. Viewers that go online for content, while risking data overage fees, can save money compared to their traditional cable or satellite TV packages. And the appeal of Netflix or GoogleTV will only grow as they add to their Canadian content offerings.

In response, domestic carriers, as they fend off competition from Netflix and each other, are building up their own video streaming sites and mobile TV offerings, to keep customers on side and reduce churn.