Conventional TV revenue dips

StatsCan's 2007 Television Report says the decline was the first in a decade, but that revenues for specialty and pay TV continued to rise last year.

Issued yesterday, Statistics Canada’s 2007 Television Report was a bad-news story for the conventional television sector, whose revenues declined for the first time in a decade.

Meanwhile, during 2007, revenues for pay and specialty television continued to rise. And, according to StatsCan, public and non-commercial conventional television experienced a decline in both ad revenue and grants.

A weak advertising market hit private conventional television, which had begun a modest recovery after stagnating the previous year. Ad revenue for this sector increased only 1.8% in 2007 – the least growth in a decade – and private conventional television’s market share continued to decline.

Pay TV enjoyed the strongest growth in televisionland, due largely to increasing demand for pay-per-view television and video-on-demand. The revenue increase from those services was 25.8% in 2007 to $197.8 million. Specialty also experienced strong growth, with a revenue rise of 8.0% thanks to increases in both ad revenue and subscriptions.

The StatsCan report concluded that the trend of conventional television being overtaken by pay and specialty television is continuing, with conventional TV accounting for 55.9% of all television broadcasting revenues in 2007, significantly down from a decade earlier, when its share was 79.4%.