OTTAWA-GATINEAU, April 4, 2012 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released statistical and financial information on Canadian conventional television stations for the broadcast year ended August 31, 2011. Although revenues remained slightly below pre-recession levels, the profitability of private conventional broadcasters improved mainly due to a reduction in overall program expenses.
Revenues for private conventional television stations were nearly identical from 2010 to 2011, increasing slightly from $2.147 billion to $2.153 billion. Broadcasters cut 7.2% from their operating expenses, which resulted in a decrease from $2.05 billion to $1.9 billion.
As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) improved from $11.5 million to $160.6 million in one year. Including contributions from the Local Programming Improvement Fund, the PBIT margin experienced a similar increase from 0.5% in 2010 to 7.5% in 2011. Both the PBIT and the PBIT margin reached their highest levels since 2005.
Revenues and expenses
Revenues from the sale of local advertising grew by 1.5%, going from $350.1 million in 2010 to $355.3 million in 2011. National advertising revenues, on the other hand, did not change noticeably and came in at $1.5 billion.
Investments in the acquisition and production of programs fell from $1.5 billion in 2010 to $1.4 billion in 2011. Excluding the 2010 Canadian programming expenses related to sports, which reached $141 million including the Winter Olympic Games, private broadcasters spent 4.2% more on Canadian programming in 2011. As such, expenditures rose from $540.2 million in 2010 to $562.9 million in 2011, of which $153 million was paid to independent producers to acquire programming.
Spending on foreign programming also declined by 5.8%, going from $773.9 million in 2010 to $729 million in 2011.
Spending on Canadian programming included $58.3 million for drama series, $71.6 million for general interest programming, $316.9 million for news programs, $15.5 million for long-form documentaries, $39.5 million for other information programs, $33 million for music and variety shows, $0.8 million for sports programming, and $22 million for game shows.
In 2011, private conventional broadcasters employed 6,337 people and paid $531.7 million in salaries, whereas the previous year, they had 6,282 employees and paid $511 million in salaries.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
The CRTC’s report also includes financial and statistical information on the CBC’s French- and English-language conventional television stations. In 2011, the national public broadcaster reported advertising revenues of $369.6 million, which represented a 9.1% increase from revenues of $338.8 million the previous year.
Additionally, the CBC’s programming expenditures totalled $758.5 million, 94% of which was spent on Canadian programs. In 2010, the CBC spent $732.7 million programming, 93.3% of which was devoted to Canadian programs.
Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industries to produce a series of reports. Today, the CRTC also published a similar report on broadcasting distribution companies.
Statistical and financial information for radio, specialty, pay and pay-per-view services as well as video-on-demand services will be released in the coming months. Following the publication of these reports, the CRTC will issue its annual Communications Monitoring Report, which provides an overview of the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industries.
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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These documents are available in alternative format upon request.