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CRTC issues annual report on the state of the Canadian communications industry

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, September 4, 2012 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued its annual Communications Monitoring Report providing an overview of the Canadian communications sector. In 2011, the average Canadian family spent more than $180 per month on communications services.

“This report is used to gauge whether the communications industry is meeting the needs of Canadians as consumers, citizens and creators,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “The information it contains will help them make more informed decisions in the marketplace and enhance their participation in our public proceedings.”

Canadians are consuming more content

In 2011, 1,183 radio services and 702 television services were offered to Canadians. Despite the availability of content on digital platforms, Canadians spent more time watching television and listening to the radio. On a weekly basis, they watched an average of 28.5 hours of television, up from 28 hours in 2010, and listened to an average of 17.7 hours of radio, up from 17.6 hours the previous year.

Canadians also actively consumed digital media content. Typical users watched 2.8 hours of Internet television per week, an increase from 2.4 hours in 2010. Four per cent of Canadians report only watching television programming online, while 4% watched programming on a smartphone and 3% on a tablet. Additionally, 22% of anglophones and 17% of francophones streamed the signal of an AM or FM station over the Internet.

“Canadians are enthusiastic consumers of creative content, whether it is offered on television, radio or through digital platforms. The fact that they are spending more time watching or listening to programming is good news for Canadian creators,” Mr. Blais added.

In 2011, the broadcasting industry contributed $3.1 billion to the creation and promotion of Canadian programming, an increase of $132 million from the previous year.

Canadians are more connected

Seventy-eight per cent of the 13.4 million households in Canada had an Internet subscription. Canadians continued to migrate to faster Internet services: the percentage of households with download speeds of at least 5 megabits per second rose from 51% in 2010 to 54% in 2011. The average monthly bill for broadband Internet services increased by $1.80, or from $36.99 in 2010 to $38.79 in 2011.

By the end of 2011, the number of Canadians subscribing to wireless services grew by 6% to 27.4 million. Newer competitors, who offered their services to more than half of the population, doubled their market share from 2% to 4% of subscribers. At the same time, the larger companies introduced faster wireless networks, also known as Long Term Evolution or LTE networks, to 45% of the population. In 2011, Canadians paid on average $57.98 per month for wireless services, which was roughly the same amount as the previous year’s monthly total of $57.86.

The number of subscribers to home telephone services continued to decrease in 2011, falling by 2.7% to 12.2 million. The average monthly bill of a telephone line was slightly lower, from $31.35 in 2010 to $31.23 in 2011.

The number of Canadian households that subscribe to basic television service increased by 2.2% to 11.8 million, equivalent to 89.6% of all households. Cable companies served the majority, or 69.9% of subscribers, while satellite companies served 24.5% and companies that deliver television programming through telephone lines (known as an Internet Protocol Television service) served 5.6% of subscribers. The average television subscriber paid $61.86 per month, an increase from $59.73 in 2010.

Communications revenues continue to rise

The overall revenues for the communications industry climbed to $59.3 billion in 2011, a 3.3% increase from $57.4 billion in 2010. In 2011, these revenues accounted for 4.6% of Canada’s gross domestic product. Revenues for broadcasting services grew by 5.5% to $16.6 billion, while those for telecommunications services increased by 2.5% to $42.7 billion.

Communications Monitoring Report

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.


Additional information on the 2012 Communications Monitoring Report

The Communications Monitoring Report contains data on the broadcasting sector for the year ended August 31, 2011 and data on the telecommunications for the year ended December 31, 2011. Highlights from the report are included below.

Broadcasting highlights

Radio

  • In 2011, 1,183 radio services, including 896 English-language services, 251 French-language services and 36 services in other languages, were offered to Canadians.
  • The average time spent listening to radio services increased slightly from 17.6 hours per week in 2010 to 17.7 hours in 2011. Private radio stations captured 77.4% of the weekly radio tuning share, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), 13%, and other stations, 9.5%.
  • The revenues of private commercial broadcasters increased by 3.9%, from $1.55 billion in 2010 to $1.61 billion in 2011.
  • In 2011, commercial radio stations contributed $54 million to the creation of Canadian content, an increase of 17% from 2010.

Television

  • In 2011, 702 television services, including 439 English-language services, 101 French-language services and 162 services in other languages, were offered to Canadians.
  • Canadians watched an average of 28.5 hours of television per week, which is slightly higher than the 2010 average of 28 hours.
  • Overall revenues for commercial television services experienced a 5.6% growth, from $6.05 billion in 2010 to $6.39 billion in 2011.
  • Private conventional television stations generated $2.15 billion in revenues in 2011, the same as 2010.
  • Specialty, pay and pay-per-view television and video-on-demand services saw their revenues increase 8% from $3.5 billion in 2010 to $3.7 billion in 2011.
  • In 2011, private conventional television broadcasters invested $562.9 million in Canadian programming, $118.3 million less than the $681.2 spent the previous year.1
  • During the same period, spending on Canadian programming by specialty and pay television services totaled $1.2 billion, a slight increase from 2010.
  • The CBC’s conventional television stations reported $500 million in advertising and other commercial revenues, an 11.1% increase from $450 million in 2010. The national public broadcaster invested $709.8 million in Canadian programming, a 3.9% increase from the $683.4 million spent in 2010.

Broadcasting distribution

  • In 2011, 11.8 million Canadians subscribed to television services offered by broadcasting distributors, an increase of 2.2% over the previous year. Of those subscribers, 70% subscribed to cable services, 24% to satellite services and 6% to services that deliver television programming through telephone lines (also known as Internet Protocol Television).
  • Revenues generated from the distribution of television programming went from $8.1 billion in 2010 to $8.6 billion in 2011, an increase of 5.8%.
  • On average, subscribers paid $2.13 more per month for television services in 2011, an increase of 3.6% over the previous year. This increase can be explained by higher monthly fees, a greater consumption of pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand services, and consumers upgrading to digital or high-definition television services.
  • In 2011, broadcasting distribution companies contributed $382 million to Canadian programming, including programming for community channels. This total was 3.9% higher than the $368 million allocated for this purpose in 2010.

Digital media

  • Anglophones spent 18.2 hours online per week in 2011, up from 17.3 hours the previous year, while francophones spent 13.1 hours online, up from 12.8 in 2010.
  • Typical users watched 2.8 hours of Internet television per week, an increase from 2.4 hours in 2010. Four per cent of Canadians report only watching television programming online.
  • In 2011, 38% of Canadians aged 18+ owned a smartphone and 10% owned a tablet.
  • Four per cent of Canadians watched television programming on a smartphone and 3% on a tablet.
  • Twenty-two per cent of anglophones and 17% of francophones streamed the signal of an AM or FM station over the Internet. Canadians also downloaded music in similar numbers.

Telecommunications highlights

Revenues, expenditures and penetration

  • Telecommunications revenues increase by 2.5%, growing from $41.7 billion in 2010 to $42.7 billion in 2011.
  • Competitors of established companies accounted for $19.2 billion, or 45%, of total revenues in 2011.
  • In 2011, telecommunications companies allocated $9.4 billion for capital expenditures, which are used to maintain, improve or expand networks. This amount represents an increase from the $8.4 billion spent in 2010.

Wireless telephone services

  • In 2011, wireless services made up 45% of all telecommunications revenues. Overall revenues climbed from $18 billion in 2010 to $19.1 billion in 2011, a 6.2% increase.
  • The number of wireless subscribers rose from 25.8 million to 27.4 million, an increase of 6.2% in one year. In addition, 48% of subscribers had a mobile broadband plan.
  • Newer competitors doubled their market share from 2% to 4% of subscribers.
  • Advanced wireless networks, which support smartphones and other devices that connect to the Internet, were available to 99% of the population.

Internet services

  • In 2011, revenues generated from the provision of Internet services increased by 6.3%, or from $6.8 billion to $7.2 billion. Internet services accounted for 17% of all telecommunications revenues.
  • In 2011, the number of residential Internet subscribers grew by 2.9% to 10.7 million.
  • Canadians continued to adopt faster Internet services. Seventy two percent of households had a broadband service that offered download speeds of at least 1.5 megabits per second, as opposed to 69% a year earlier.
  • In addition, the percentage of households that subscribe to Internet download speeds of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) rose from 51% to 54% in one year.
  • Internet services offering download speeds of at least 5 Mbps were available to 87% of all Canadian households.

Local and long-distance telephone services

  • The number of local residential telephone lines fell from 12.6 million in 2010 to 12.2 million in 2011. There was a slight decline in residential revenues, which came in at $4.57 billion, down from $4.73 billion in 2010.
  • In 2011, local and long distance services accounted for 28% of all telecommunications revenues, compared with 30% in 2010.
  • Cable companies that provide home telephone service had captured approximately 31% of the market by year-end 2011, the same as the previous year.

[1] The 2010 Canadian programming expenses included $141 million in sports-related programming, including the Winter Olympic Games. Excluding these expenses, private conventional broadcasters spent 4.2% more on Canadian programming in 2011.