TORONTO — The cost of getting your TV tuned in to a free TV service is about the same as it was 20 years ago, according to a new study by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
The research, released Wednesday, looked at how much consumers paid for ad-free TV services in different cities, comparing rates for those in Canada and the United States.
“The price of the TV service has dropped significantly over time, but the number of TV customers has increased,” said the report, by researcher R.T. Wong.
In the United Kingdom, for example, a free service is now available for a maximum of seven months at an average price of £7.49 per month.
It costs around $1.30 in Canada, which offers the same package for $19.99 a month, with a two-year subscription costing about $8.50 a month.
“When it comes time to decide whether to pay for a free or ad-backed TV service, we found that there are many consumers that would rather pay a premium than pay more,” Wong said in a statement.
Other studies have shown that consumers prefer ad-driven services, but in Canada the public remains largely indifferent to the issue.
This new study also looked at the impact of new ad-blocking technology on the advertising industry, including what ads were seen by viewers and how those ads were shown to people who were not paying for the service.
Some ad-blockers block the websites that deliver the adverts to consumers, but others block the ads themselves, according the report.
According to Wong, that means the number and size of ads that appear on a TV screen is less important than the number that actually appear on the screen.
He noted that the ads that consumers see on the TV screens are more often of lower quality and appear less frequently than the ads on websites.
Wong found that, while there are still some consumers who prefer adblocking services, most of the people he surveyed did not.
While the study found that the number was the same in the U.S. and Canada, it did not account for other countries.
The FCC is currently looking at the ad-sales tax in the United Arab Emirates, according its website.