Specialty, PPV, VOD still thriving: CRTC

With $2.7 billion in total revenue and $647 million in profit before interest and tax, the specialty TV, pay and VOD sectors have a rosier story to tell than conventional broadcasters did in March.

On Friday, the CRTC released its stats and financial details for Canadian specialty, pay, pay-per-view television and video-on-demand (VOD) services industry, showing once again that the sector’s revenues and profits are still growing at a healthy pace. While the total revenues growth rate was not as high as last year’s, profits continue to soar.

The industry has continued to see strong growth in 2007, with total revenues up an average of 9.7% from 2003-2007. Total revenues in 2007 hit $2.7 billion (up 9.1% from $2.5 billion in 2006). Profits before interest and taxes rose to $647.1 million (up by 13%).

The total revenue breakdown looks like this: $1.2 billion from subscribers of cable distribution services; $574.8 million from subscribers of direct-to-home satellite services; $928.8 million from national advertising; $19.8 million from local advertising; and $44.3 million from other revenues.

Pay television services accounted for $349.7 million, pay-per-view television services for $119 million and VOD services for $78.8 million. The remaining $2.2 billion was earned by the 142 specialty television services in operation in 2007, including $1.9 billion from 49 analog services; $78.9 million from 18 Category 1 digital services; and $154.3 million from 75 Category 2 digital services.

The amount spent by specialty and pay television services on Canadian programming increased by 3.3%, from $888.4 million to $917.9 million. That spending included $148 million for news programs, $210.2 million for other information programs, $230.6 million for sports programs, $168.3 million for drama, $45.6 million for musical and variety shows and $67 million for general interest programming.

These services also spent $323.2 million on foreign programming, which represented a 10% increase from the $293.8 million invested in 2006. About $319.1 million of that amount was paid to independent producers for Canadian programming.

In 2007, the Canadian specialty, pay, pay-per-view television and VOD services industry employed 5,490 people (up from 5,264), and paid a total of $407.8 million in salaries (up from $374.6 million).

In March, the CRTC released its 2007 financial results for conventional television services. It showed revenues to be stable and profits up. The commission will soon publish its findings on the radio and broadcast industries.