Bell Media grows revenue in Q1

Advertising revenue was down on TV and radio, but grew in OOH.
money, Canada

Bell Media posted growth in the first quarter of 2016, growing 2.1% for the period, moving to $741 million, up from $726 million in 2015.

Positive gains in the division were attributed largely to strong subscriber growth from the national expansion of The Movie Network (TMN), with the exit of Corus Entertainment in late 2015. Also adding to the growth were higher revenues from CraveTV, which was made available to all Canadians in January, and Bell Media’s TV everywhere products.

Advertising revenue for the quarter was impacted by dips on conventional and specialty TV, which were reduced spending by lower participation from some customer segments and declining viewership to the World Juniors this year than in 2015 when it was hosted in Canada. Radio advertising also dipped for the quarter due to the weakened economy in western Canada. Astral OOH posted advertising gains, which slightly lessened the overall blow of advertising drops in other segments. Bell Media wouldn’t disclose exact advertising figures, as confirmed by a company representative.

Bell Media’s operating costs increased 1.9% for the quarter to $596 million due to higher sports broadcast rights costs and CraveTV content investments.

Like its media division, BCE’s overall revenue was also up for the quarter, posting a positive gain of 0.6%. The increase was due to good wireless, wireline residential and media growth. Product revenue declined 8%, a result of aggressive promotional campaigns from competing companies on handsets and reduced spending from business customers on wireline data products, according to the company.

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