Telus Reports Shrinking Optik TV Take-Up in Western Canada Dogfight

The telecom giant continued to snag TV and Internet customers from rival Shaw Communications during the fourth quarter, but market growth is flagging.

TORONTO – Canadian phone giant Telus Corp. continues to grab core TV and Internet access customers away from dominant western Canadian cable player Shaw Communications.

But Calgary-based Telus on Thursday reported slowing take-up for its Internet-based Optik TV service.

The Canadian telecom giant posted a fourth quarter profit up 13 percent, to CAN$301 million (US$274 million), for the three months ending on December 31, as overall revenue rose 3.4 percent to CAN$2.95 billion (US$2.68 billion) on a growing wireless phone customer base.

Telus also added 38,000 TV subscribers and 21,000 high-speed Internet customers during the fourth quarter.

That came at the cost of rival Shaw Communications, which last month reported it lost 29,619 cable TV subscribers during the first quarter.

Canadian cable companies are showing the biggest losses in TV subscribers among domestic media players as Netflix Canada and other new digital platforms impact the domestic pay TV market.

At the same time, Telus reported additions of high-speed Internet subscribers and Telus TV subscribers during the fourth quarter, but 2013 slipped from the same periods in 2012 as market growth slows.

Telus, a year ago, reported adding 41,000 TV customers during the fourth quarter of 2012.