Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

A new study by the Media Technology Monitor (MTM) is challenging some of the early worries many broadcasters had about the arrival of Netflix.

When the streaming-TV service was launched, there were predictions from some business analysts that one-third of cable consumers might look to cut their cable television packages. Netflix was seen as an ideal service for customers fed up with cable bills, and who were looking for an alternative way to get their TV fix.

The figures show those concerns may have been exaggerated. The study found that 80% of Netflix subscribers in Canada also subscribe to cable or satellite television services. One third of them, also subscribe to Pay-TV channels like The Movie Network or Movie Central.

But the kicker for me:

Netflix viewers watch 28% more TV than the average Canadian when including their Netflix viewing

Clearly, Netflix is seen as just another on-demand channel: another serving station in the all-you-can-eat buffet of television programs they receive each month.

From left to right: Swiper (in background), Do...
From left to right: Swiper (in background), Dora, and Boots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in that 20% not covered in the study. I do use Netflix to replace regular television. I cancelled my cable TV service several years ago, and get most of my local TV programs from free over-the-air digital signals. My 3-year old is the biggest watcher of Netflix in our house. It has become a Treehouse TV replacement, letting me control when she’s able to watch an episode of Dora The Explorer or Max & Ruby. I can’t say I use it to watch many movies or TV shows.

That’s part of the problem. Netflix isn’t a total replacement for Canadians looking to do away with cable or satellite. You’ll find lots of movies and TV shows on Netflix, but you won’t find everything you’re looking for. For cable or satellite subscribers, it’s an extra service to complement the choices they already have.