TV ad revenue down 2.3% in 2012: StatsCan

The television industry saw declining ad revenues against increased programming and production costs.
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StatsCan released its annual overview of the television industry’s financial performance today, pointing to continuing struggles for conventional television against surging pay and specialty.

Operating revenues for Canadian television overall rose modestly by 1.8%, following two years of post-recession recovery in 2011 and 2010. However, private conventional TV saw its operating revenues dip by 5.2% in 2012 against a 5.9% increase in pay and specialty combined. Subscription revenues were up 8.4%, while advertising revenues advanced 2.4%.

Operating revenues in the public and non-commercial space rose 1.7% to 1.6 billion.

Impacting private conventional TV in 2012 was continued volatility in the ad market, with ad revenues in the category decreasing by 5.9% to $1.8 billion; the TV industry overall saw ad revenues decline by 2.3% to $3.5 billion.

Pay and specialty continued to gain share of advertiser dollars, holding 36.2% of market share in 2012 for a total of $1.3 billion, up almost 11% from 2005 levels.

In addition to declining ad revenues, broadcasters also saw programming and production costs increase, as they took on greater costs against a 1.5% decline in the Local Programming Improvement Fund. The fund, worth $64.5 million in 2012, will continue to decrease its contributions to broadcasters as it is phased out for 2014.