In Canada, less than 50% of households will subscribe to pay TV in 2022

The forecast: In 2022, 48.9% of households in Canada will have pay TV, marking a massive and continuing trend of cable cord-cutting in the country.

A deeper dive:

  • As recent as 2015, more than 75% of households in Canada—a total of 10.5 million—had pay TV. That figure has been steadily declining for years and will dip to 7.9 million, or 51.3% of households, by the end of 2021.
  • "Cord-cutting is an underlying reason for digital video’s displacement of TV," said Paul Briggs, eMarketer principal analyst, in our "Canada Time Spent with Media 2021" report. "The annual decline in cable TV subscribers has been in the low single-digit percentage range for many years, but the number jumped in 2020."
  • While many households in Canada are cord-nevers—that is, households that have never subscribed to pay TV—an increasing share are cord-cutters, those who have chosen to leave traditional pay TV behind. This year, 34.4% of non-pay TV households were cord-nevers, while 65.6% were cord-cutters. This marks a shift from 2014, when these two shares were split almost evenly.
  • Many internet users have pivoted to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but streaming subscription rates vary across English and French speakers in Canada.

Looking ahead: Pay TV households will continue to decline in Canada. By 2025, we predict that just 7.0 million households will maintain pay TV subscriptions, a total share of 43.1% of all households.


A previous version of this article did not include a note on eMarketer's definition of Pay TV. That issue has been corrected.


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