BDU subscriptions sliding, revenues steady: CRTC

The regulator's report for the year ending Aug. 31, 2015 indicated that the combined revenue for Canadian cable, IPTV and satellite companies was $8.9 billion.

red tvOverall subscriber numbers to cable, IPTV and satellite showed slight declines in 2015, while revenues held steady compared with 2014, according to a 2015 statistical and financial summaries report released by the CRTC Tuesday.

Overall, the combined revenue for cable, IPTV and satellite companies was $8.9 billion for the year ending Aug. 31, 2015, representing a 0.1% decrease from the previous year. However, this was dragged down by satellite companies, as the shift away from that technology continues. That segment saw a 5.2% revenue decrease from $2.4 billion in 2014 to $2.3 billion in 2015 , while cable and IPTV companies reported combined revenues of $6.6 billion from programming services, up from $6.5 billion the previous year.

As well, while the overall number of subscribers slid from 11.4 million in 2014 to 11.2 million in 2015, this dip is attributed to a drop in the number of satellite customers. For the year, satellite company subs dropped by 7.2% from 2.6 million to 2.4 million, while the number of combined subscriptions for cable and IPTV companies (minus satellite) increased by 0.3% to 8.9 million.

Though the number of subs fell overall (from 11.4 million in 2014 to 11.2 million in 2015), there was an increase in the per-subscriber revenue, which increased from $65.25 per month in 2014 to $66.08 in 2015.

Combined spending by cable, IPTV and satellite companies increased by 1.3% in 2015 to $7.2 billion, resulting in a decreased operating margin (19%), which the report stated was the lowest in five years, but still “healthy.” This was attributable mainly to a dip in expenditure by satellite companies, which saw a decrease from 32% in 2014 to 27.7% in 2015.

In total, the number of people employed by cable, IPTV and satellite companies fell by 6.3% in 2015 to 27,244.

As well, Cancon-production spending by TV service providers decreased $38.1 million compared to the previous year, falling to $436.9 million for the year ending Aug. 31, 2015. The CMF was the recipient of $219.6 million of this total, while $152.6 million went to community channels and other sources of local content, and $64.7 million went to independent funds. 

The CRTC in May published its annual report on conventional television.