Broadcast revenues up slightly in 2016: StatsCan

While revenue at specialty channels is increasing, overall ad spend on conventional TV continues to decline.
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The Canadian TV broadcasting sector saw operating revenues and profits increase in 2016, though private conventional TV continued to post losses, according to a report from Statistics Canada released Tuesday.

Operating revenues for the whole sector rose 0.9% to $7.5 billion in 2016 from $7.4 billion in 2015, while profits before interest and taxes increased 16% to $849 million from $732.8 million. The gains were a result of an increase in subscription revenues and subsidies, both of which offset decreases in advertising sales, according to the report.

Subscription revenues rose from $2.99 billion in 2016 to $2.92 billion in 2015, while public and private subsidies increased 5.8%, to $944.8 million from $892.9 million.

Breaking down the broadcast sector, private conventional TV segment generated $1.8 billion in operating revenues and 23.9% of the sector’s total, compared with $1.9 billion and 25.5% in 2015. (The segment posted losses across all provinces in 2016 and a profit margin before interest and taxes of a -6.4%).

Specialty TV, meanwhile, increased its market share (48.2%) with operating revenues of $3.6 billion, up from $3.5 billion, while public and non-commercial television segment (18.1%) rose 5.9% to $1.4 billion in 2016, from $1.3 billion. Pay television accounted for the remaining operating revenues (9.9%) of the sector.

While operating revenues for the sector were up, revenues from advertising sales decreased 0.9% in 2016 to $3.2 billion, continuing a slide that began in 2012. Private conventional saw a 5.4% decrease in air time sales. The public and non-commercial TV segment, however, saw sales increase 20.3%, while specialty saw a 1.7% bump.

The private conventional television sector accounted for 52% of the market share of air time sales in 2016. By comparison, the market share of advertising sales was 39.3% for the specialty television segment and 8.8% for the public and non-commercial television segment.

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