Broadcast revenues up slightly in 2016: StatsCan

While revenue at specialty channels is increasing, overall ad spend on conventional TV continues to decline.

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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