Specialties flush with cash
According to CRTC stats, strong ad figures combined with higher subscriber revenues last year led the specialty sector to a profit of $549.6 million.
While conventional casters were hit by a decline in commercial revenue and increased operating expenses, revenue continued to grow in 2008 for specialty TV.
According to statistics released by the CRTC, strong ad figures combined with higher subscriber revenues last year led the specialty sector to a profit (before interest and taxes) of $549.6 million, up from $531.1 million. In sharp contrast, last month’s CRTC numbers showed conventional net profits decline by more than 90% last year – and while revenues from the sale of local advertising remained at the same level as last year, national advertising sales declined from $1.5 billion to $1.4 billion in 2008.
On the specialty front, local and national advertising rose to a combined $1.02 billion for the broadcast year ended Aug. 31, 2008, up from $948.4 million, with national advertising making the greatest gains. The majority of the ad bounty flowed to specialty channels such as TSN, YTV and Teletoon. However, ad revenue was topped by subscriber revenue, which totaled $1.27 billion; subscribers were up 5.3% to $878.9 million in cable, and 5.7% to $387.8 million in satellite.
Specialty and pay-TV made a combined $2.9 billion in ’08, up 7.6%. PBIT rose 5.9% to $686.1 million.
The pay-TV, PPV and VOD sectors suffered from a drop in national advertisers, with dollars falling to zero from $107,000. However, local advertising rose to $438,000 from $102,000. Subscriber revenues were stable, with $380.7 million coming from cable subscribers and $208.7 million from satellite.
Expenses were up, but just slightly, to $2.2 billion from $2 billion, and spending on Canadian programming topped the $1-billion mark for the first time, up 11.3% to $1.1 billion. The spending on Cancon included $146.6 million for news, $235.4 million for other information programming, $270.3 million for sports, $202.1 million for drama, $55 million for musical and variety shows, and $72 million for general-interest programming.
Spending on foreign programs was up 9.1% to $361.1 million.
From Playback Daily