Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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CRTC releases financial results of conventional television stations

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, March 18, 2010 — The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today released statistical and financial summaries for Canada’s conventional television stations. The report provides information on the sector’s profitability, revenues and expenditures for the period of September 1, 2008, to August 31, 2009.

Profitability

Private broadcasters saw their total revenues shrink by 7.9%, going from $2.14 billion in 2008 to $1.97 billion in 2009.  Although operating expenses were cut by 2.4%, these broadcasters lost $116.4 million before interest and taxes over the 2009 broadcast year, which resulted in a negative profit margin of 5.9%.

In 2008, private broadcasters reported profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) of $8 million and a PBIT margin of 0.4%.

Revenues and expenses

Private conventional television stations experienced a decline of more than $190 million in local and national advertising sales. From 2008 to 2009, local advertising revenues decreased by 10.1% from $387.2 million to $348 million, and national advertising revenues by 10.3% from $1.47 billion to $1.32 billion.

The acquisition and production of programs represented 75.2% of all expenses, which came down from $2.1 billion in 2008 to $2 billion in 2009. Private broadcasters invested 3.3% less on Canadian programming last year, or $599.4 million compared to $619 million. In 2009, broadcasters paid $176.2 million to independent producers to acquire programming, which amounted to an increase of $30.2 million in one year.

Meanwhile, spending on foreign programming reached its highest level yet at 59% of all programming expenses, or $846.3 million. This total represented a 9.2% increase over the $775.2 million that was spent in 2008.

Canadian programming

Spending on Canadian programming included $75.4 million for drama, $80.9 million for general interest programming, $312.1 million for news programs, $65.9 million on other information programs, $38.3 million for musical and variety shows, $3.8 million for sports programs, and $11.1 million for game shows.

Employment

In 2009, conventional television stations employed 6,747 people and paid a total of $527.6 million in salaries, whereas the previous year this sector employed 7,406 people and paid $576.9 million in salaries.


CRTC reports

Each year, the Commission compiles financial data on the broadcasting industry to produce this report. For the first time, this year’s report includes combined data for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s English- and French-language television services, which is presented by region.

The CRTC today also published a similar report on broadcasting distribution companies. 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 annual reports allow interested parties to stay informed about the state of the Canadian broadcasting industry.

Conventional Television – 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.