OTTAWA-GATINEAU, July 14, 2011 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released statistical and financial information on Canadian broadcasting distribution companies. For the year ending on August 31, 2010, this sector of the broadcasting industry experienced strong growth as the combined revenues for cable, satellite and multipoint distribution companies rose from $11.4 billion to $12.5 billion.
Total revenues generated by cable companies increased by 9.7% in 2010, from $9.2 billion to $10.1 billion, while operating expenses went up by 9%, from $5.1 billion to $5.5 billion. As a result, cable companies reported profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) of $2.5 billion and a PBIT margin of 25.3%. These were both higher than the 2009 results, which came in at $2.3 billion and 25.1%, respectively.
The number of Canadian households that obtained basic television service from a cable company rose by 2.2% to reach 8.3 million subscribers.
In 2010, cable companies employed 24,076 people and spent $1.8 billion on salaries, compared to employing 22,716 and spending $1.7 billion on salaries the previous year.
Satellite and multipoint distribution companies
Total revenues for satellite and multipoint distribution companies increased from $2.2 billion in 2009 to $2.4 billion in 2010—an increase of 8.9% from the previous year. In addition, operating expenses went up by 4%, from $1.75 billion to $1.82 billion.
Over the last five years, these companies’ PBIT has improved significantly from a deficit of $32 million in 2006 to a profit of $163.9 million in 2010. The PBIT margin followed a similar trajectory during the same period, rising from a negative profit margin of -1.9% to a positive profit margin of 6.8%.
The number of Canadian households that obtained basic television service from satellite or multipoint distribution companies increased by 3.7% in 2010 to reach 2.9 million.
In 2010, these companies employed 2,704 people and paid $232.7 million in salaries. In comparison, they employed 2,982 people and paid $226.2 million in salaries the previous year.
Contributions to Canadian programming
In 2010, broadcasting distribution companies contributed $367.9 million to Canadian programming. Of this total, $189.1 million was directed to the Canadian Media Fund (formerly the Canadian Television Fund), $52.3 million to independent funds and $126.5 million to cable community channels and other sources of local expression.
These companies also contributed an additional $100.7 million to the Local Programming Improvement Fund. Launched in September 2009, this fund supports local news and local programming in non-metropolitan markets across Canada.
In 2010, cable companies paid $1.9 billion in wholesale fees to the pay and specialty services they distribute, an increase of 11.6% from the $1.7 billion paid the previous year. The fees paid by satellite companies rose by 4.5% in one year, going from $367.7 million to $384.2 million.
Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industries to produce a series of reports. The CRTC’s report on Canadian broadcasting distribution companies includes data for non-programming services, such as Internet access and telephony services.
These annual reports allow interested parties to stay informed about the state of the Canadian communications industry.
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
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