CBC ad revenue spikes in 2016/2017

Revenues jumped 20.3%, largely thanks to the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to its annual report.

CBC/Radio-Canada has released its financials for the 2016/2017 year, with the pubcaster seeing a spike in advertising revenues.

The pubcaster saw a 20.3% spike in advertising revenues across its English and French services for the financial year ended March 31, 2017. The $50.7 million increase in revenue (to $300.6 million, up from $249.9 million last year) resulted from the broadcast of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, according to the report. That said, advertising revenues from the pubcaster’s ongoing activities (aside from events) declined 0.7% overall, due to a 2.1% decline in TV advertising. That decline was offset, however, by higher digital advertising revenues.

Subscriber fees also fell 2.4% or $3.3 million relative to last year to $131 million. Fees for its subscription services (such as documentary channel, CBC News Network and ICI RDI) accounted for 8% of CBC’s overall revenue. “Subscriber fees are experiencing downward pressure from the continuing cord-cutting trend and the effects of recent regulatory changes enacted by the CRTC (affordable basic TV package, small TV packages and pick-and-pay TV channels),” the report states.

The year also saw a sharp increase in programming spend, with the pubcaster spending $93.4 million on externally produced programs as of year end — a major increase from the $57.3 million it spent on externally produced content at the same point in 2016. The CBC also spent $4.8 million on internally produced completed programs, up from $3.7 million in 2016.

All told, the CBC brought in $556.9 million in revenues and $1.09 billion in government funding. Revenues were less than expenses, however, which hit $1.72 billion ($1.6 billion of which went to television, radio and digital services costs). After expenses and non-operating items, the CBC operated at a net loss of $7.8 million, 10.6% greater than the loss it incurred the previous year. “This increase reflects higher operating costs in 2016-2017, mainly programming related, as we reinvested in our content,” the report states.

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