Bell Media revenue up slightly in Q2

Advertising and subscription revenues were up in the quarter, helping to offset increased operating costs.
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Bell Media posted growth in the second quarter of 2017, with revenue totalling $796 million, up 2.2% from $779 million in the corresponding quarter in 2016.

The company attributed the growth to higher advertising and subscription revenues. Subscriber revenues were up 1.4% year-over-year, thanks in part to CraveTV and TV Everywhere GO products (though subscriber numbers weren’t provided).

Ad revenue also increased, up 2.3% from Q2 2016, as a result of growth in outdoor advertising at Astral Out of Home (AOOH) and higher revenues at Bell Media’s English specialty entertainment channels and digital properties. The company noted, however, that sports specialty was down year-over-year, given that Q2 2016 benefitted from a deeper Raptors playoff run and UEFA Euro 2016.

While revenues were up, so too were operating costs, which jumped 2.9% year-over-year to $572 million in Q2 2017. The increased costs were attributed to expanded CraveTV, HBO and Showtime programming, in addition to new contracts at Astral OOH. Despite increased operating costs, EBITDA was up 0.4% from $223 million in Q2 2016 to $224 million.

As for Bell’s new Alt TV streaming live TV service, which the company launched in May in an effort to attract cord-cutters and “cord-nevers,” subscribers to the service were included within Bell’s IPTV sub numbers. At the end of Q2, BCE served nearly 1.5 million IPTV users, up 17% over the corresponding quarter in 2016, though no specific Alt TV numbers were provided.

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