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CRTC releases financial results for Canadian broadcasting distributors

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, March 18, 2010 — The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today released the statistical and financial summaries for Canadian broadcasting distribution companies. This sector of the broadcasting industry continued its strong performance as its total revenues grew by $1.1 billion to reach $11.4 billion in 2009.

Cable

Revenue growth for cable companies slowed marginally to 11.9% last year after having increased by over 16% in both 2007 and 2008. Total revenues climbed from $8.2 billion in 2008 to $9.2 billion in 2009. Operating expenses rose by 10.6% over the same period, or from $4.6 billion to $5.1 billion.

As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) improved from $2.1 billion to $2.3 billion in one year. However, there was little change in the PBIT margin, which came in at 25.1% in 2009, compared with 25.3% in 2008.

The number of Canadian households that obtained basic-television service from a cable company grew by 2.2% to 8.1 million subscribers.

In 2009, cable companies employed 22,716 people and paid $1.6 billion in salaries, whereas the previous year they employed 19,848 people and paid $1.2 billion in salaries.

DTH and MDS

Between 2008 and 2009, total revenues for direct-to-home (DTH) satellite distribution and multipoint distribution system (MDS) companies increased by 7%, going from $2 billion to $2.2 billion. There was little change in operating expenses as they increased only slightly from $1.66 billion to $1.73 billion.

DTH and MDS companies reported a PBIT of $82 million, up from $81.4 million in 2008, and a PBIT margin of 3.7%, down from 4% the previous year.

The number of DTH and MDS subscribers to basic service was 2.3% higher, rising to 2.8 million.

In 2009, these companies employed 2, 915 people and paid $215.9 million in salaries. In comparison, they employed 2,975 people and paid $193.4 million in salaries in 2008.

Contributions to Canadian programming

Broadcasting distribution companies contributed $352.4 million to Canadian programming, an increase of 8.3% in one year. Of this total, $179.3 million was directed to the Canadian Television Fund, $50.3 million to independent funds and $122.8 million to local expression, such as cable community channels.

Affiliation payments

In 2009, cable companies paid $1.7 billion in wholesale fees to the pay and specialty services they distribute, an increase of 10.6% over the $1.6 billion paid in 2007. Similarly, payments made by DTH and MDS companies to their affiliates increased by 8.6% in one year, rising from $740.8 million to $804.5 million.

CRTC reports

The financial data compiled in this report were drawn from the annual reports of Canadian broadcasting distribution companies. The CRTC today also published a similar report on conventional television stations.

Statistical and financial summaries for radio, specialty, pay and pay-per-view television services, and video-on-demand services will follow in the coming months. These reports allow interested parties to stay informed about the state of the Canadian broadcasting industry.

Broadcast Distribution – Class 1, 2 and 3 – Statistical and Financial Summaries 2005-2009

The CRTC

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

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These documents are available in alternative format upon request.