Media revenue down for Rogers in Q2

Lower advertising revenue and lower Jays revenue drove the trend.
CarpathianPrince /

Rogers Communications’ total revenue rose slightly in Q2, bringing in just under $3.8 billion for the period ended June 30 (up 4% from the same period in 2017). But media was not the company’s strongest point; revenue for the overall Rogers Media division was $608 million, down 5% from the same period the previous year.

Rogers Media – which owns broadcast channels such as CityTV, specialty channels including Sportsnet and FX, print and online publications such as Chatelaine and Today’s Parent and a number of regional radio stations – attributed the 5% decrease to lower advertising revenue.

Additionally, the Toronto Blue Jays posted lower revenue this quarter (Rogers Media owns a stake in the baseball team).

Despite these lower totals, subscription revenue from Rogers’ specialty channels, particularly Sportsnet, was higher for the quarter.

Rogers Media also noted that its year-to-date revenue for media was 3% higher than the first two quarters of 2017 (up to $1.1 billion), due largely to a higher distribution of the Jays from Major League Baseball in Q1.

The media division’s operating expenses fell by 5% this quarter and 2% year-to-date as the result of what Rogers identified as “cost efficiencies and productivity initiatives.” The tail-end of the quarter saw Rogers Media cut one-third of its digital content and publishing staff, shedding 75 positions.

For the overall corporation, higher revenue was driven largely by wireless service growth (5%). Wireless equipment revenue grew by 14% during the quarter, driven by higher levels of device activation. Cable revenue increased by 2%, while internet revenue grew by 10%. The quarter marked the highest number of second-quarter internet additions since 2005.